Feature: Moyka’s ‘Movies, Cars & Heartbreak’ Is an Album for the Brokenhearted, the Thrill-Seekers, & Party People

Moyka © Ida Fiskaa
Moyka © Ida Fiskaa
Norway’s Moyka takes us track-by-track through the passionate lyrics and pulsating music of her kinetic sophomore album ‘Movies, Cars & Heartbreak,’ an unapologetic and irresistible alt-pop fever dream that dances through the darkness with grace, poise, and cinematic charm.
for fans of Lorde, Carly Rae Jepsen, MUNA, Robyn, MØ
Stream: “Perfect Movie Scene” – Moyka

‘Movies, Cars & Heartbreak’ is me in my best element, lyrical snapshots of my worst times and a result of my restless heart on a mission.

If only love could be like the movies,” Moyka’s Monika Engeseth laments at one point on her new album, “but it’s never like it seems…” Her romantic life may not be a silver screen production, but her music certainly is: Cinematic synths stutter, smolder, and swell around the artist’s soaring voice as she channels her own raw emotions into spellbinding sonic wonders, mixing the cool Nordic air she breathes with the raging, burning fire within her soul.

A radiant, kinetic record born from moments of connection and catharsis, Movies, Cars & Heartbreak is an unapologetic and irresistible alt-pop fever dream. Moyka’s humanity shines through ten passionate and pulsating songs that, instead of dwelling in brooding depths, dance through the darkness – creating a warm light of their own to see us through the lows.

Life may not like the movies, and that’s okay; the real thing is better, anyway.

Movies, Cars & Heartbreak - Moyka
Movies, Cars & Heartbreak – Moyka
I saw it all on the screen,
picture perfect movie scene

They said it could never be real
But you don’t know how I feel
I saw it all on the screen,
picture perfect movie scene

They said it could never be real
Never be real…
– “Perfect Movie Scene,” Moyka

Released October 20, 2023 via GEMS / Warner Music Norway, Movies, Cars & Heartbreak is a spirited, seductive soundtrack to living life to the fullest, no matter what it throws our way. The follow-up to Moyka’s acclaimed debut album Revelations of Love (released in 2021) sees the Norwegian singer/songwriter and producer, née Monika Engeseth, writing some of her catchiest hooks to date while wearing her heart on her sleeve.

That’s no small statement, considering the alt-pop artist has been dazzling audiences from the very beginning: “Moyka’s fresh music unquestionably paints a distinctive world all on its own,” Atwood Magazine said of her debut EP Circles back in 2019, praising her for carving out her own immersive, vibrant space in the electropop universe. “Circles marks the culmination of her initial foray into the music world by neatly packaging five intense left-of-center pop songs into a single palatable bundle bursting with edgy charm.”

Moyka Finds a Moment to Breathe in Debut 'Circles' EP


Five years into her career, Moyka sounds more confident in herself and in her sound.

Bringing to mind artists like Lorde, Carly Rae Jepsen, MUNA, Robyn, and MØ, Movies, Cars & Heartbreak finds the Nordic creative expanding the definitions of a “Moyka song,” leaning into heavy beats, hearty rhythms, vulnerable lyrics, and evocative performances as she crafts a cohesive, comprehensive, and all-consuming listening experience that immerses audiences in her enchanting world.

“It’s more concentrated and more focused, I would say,” she reflects, comparing her second record to her first. “I’m unafraid, unapologetic, I can say what I want, and the production really encapsulates how I wanted to tell this story. It was also so fun to write these songs and it inspires me so much for the journey ahead!”

Moyka © Ida Fiskaa
Moyka © Ida Fiskaa

The story of Movies, Cars & Heartbreak can’t be told without a deeper exploration of Moyka’s headspace while making it; out of her own inner turmoil and pain, she brought to life soundscapes full of beauty and profound feeling.

Movies, Cars & Heartbreak is an album about those movielike moments where life freezes for just a second,” Moyka tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s about going fast and falling hard, taking chances, daring to believe in love and celebrating these big emotions that make us who we are. It’s an album for the brokenhearted, the thrill-seekers, and party people – and for those who love to dance and cry at the same time.”

“It took me a while to get to a place where I could write these songs, because I struggled with depression through and after writing my first record, which just made it so hard to bounce back to a place where it made sense to be creative again. It is also so much harder to be creative when you’re so sad and tired you can’t get out of bed. And if you’re able to – that lid to your creative world is kind of shut.”

“Like I said, it took some time to get back to feeling like myself so I could make this record, and I’m so glad I was able to. I’m so proud of what me and my collaborators have created together! Movies, Cars & Heartbreak is me in my best element, lyrical snapshots of my worst times and a result of my restless heart on a mission.”

You can tell all your fears to me
We could be, we could be what you want to be
I know you’re holding your guard up
And I know that you think you’re bad luck
But darling, that’s not who you are to me
That’s not who you are to me
That’s not who you are to me
To me, ah
I may be in your rear view
But I still see the stars from here (ooh)
I’ll be here if you want to
‘Cause I can see the stars from here
I’ll be here, holding on, if you want to, if you want to…

Moyka © Ida Fiskaa
Moyka © Ida Fiskaa

Moyka candidly describes her record as unapologetic, cold, and cool. The title, she says, slowly unraveled, and then one day revealed itself, in the writing process.

“I was telling my main collaborator Eirik Hella what the album was about and said those three keywords, “movies, cars and heartbreak,” and he said “There’s the title.” and I got chills!” she smiles. “It was perfect, so simple, but all of those words mean something to everyone, and put together they create this story. I love it!”

Bookended by a scene-setting entrance (“Action”) and a resolution-fueled finale (“The End”), Movies, Cars & Heartbreak stays true to its name as a dramatic world unto itself. Intoxicatingly catchy singles like “Rear View” and “Perfect Movie Scene” have taken off thanks to their tremendous replay value. Both are perfect for the club, the car, the gym, and the home, their sonic depth and seamless delivery making them those rare kind of pop songs that fit so many everyday and out-of-the-ordinary life moments.

“‘Perfect Movie Scene’ is one of the most important songs of the album; it kind of reveals how these last few years have felt for me,” Moyka explains. “It’s about love and having hope that it will find you, even though you’ve been hurt before. The whole album has a lot of visual imagery and references, but the red thread is mainly about working through the sorrow of a heartbreak. It’s kind of different stages of grief and reflections of love I move through from song to song, and this one is kind of the first stop where I accept the loss and move along.”

Moyka © Ida Fiskaa
Moyka © Ida Fiskaa

The big moments are appropriately big, but even this album’s deepest cuts – the hypnotic “Nobody,” the heat-of-the-moment reverie “Lonely,” and the gut-wrenching “Would You Be Mine?” – find their way deep into our subconscious, their lilting melodies and poetic lines cropping up time after time. For Moyka, however, her top three tracks (at least for the moment) are “Rear View,” “Never Say Sorry,” and “The End.”

“‘Never Say Sorry’ is about looking for a real connection in this digital age we live in,” she says. “Everyone has the whole world by their fingertips – swiping up, down, left and right on anything that appears in front of our eyes. ‘Great heartbreakers never say sorry’ is the voice of apathy leaning into this scenario, but I wanted to have fun with it over a house-y beat and “yeah’s” so loud in the mix you can’t miss them.”

“I think my favourite at the moment is ‘pretend we’re opening books, but we don’t read between the lines. Our love belongs to the moon, I guess I’ll see you in the night” from ‘Never Say Sorry.’”

Pretend we’re opening books
But we don’t read between the lines
Our love belongs to the moon
I guess I’ll see you in the night
Ridin’ high, a state of dreamin’
Not comin’ down (Not comin’ down)
Close our eyes, we’re fallin’ deeper
Into the lie
This would not happen in the movies
Two of us, but we’re waking up lonely (Yeah)
Yeah, we’re waking up lonely (Yeah)
This would not happen on the big screen
Great heartbreakers never say sorry (Yeah)
No, they never say sorry (Yeah)

The stuff of our sweetest dreams, Movies, Cars & Heartbreak is bold, bustling, and breathtaking.

Moyka’s star is rising fast thanks to her ability to create stunningly raw, yet impeccably polished music that moves the mind, body, and soul. Whether you’re dwelling in your own depths or dancing to your heart’s content, these songs were made to be felt deep down inside. There’s no denying the sheer power of this music, or the magic touch Moyka gives to all ten of her cinematic, soul-stirring songs.

“I hope listeners enjoy listening to it first of all, and I hope they dance, and make memories with it,” Engeseth shares. “This has been my favorite project to work on this far in my career, and it gave me so much in terms of learning, creating, opening new doors in my mind and in my life. I’m so happy it’s finally out there now!”

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Moyka’s Movies, Cars & Heartbreak with Atwood Magazine as Monika Engeseth takes us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her sophomore album!

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:: stream/purchase Movies, Cars & Heartbreak here ::
:: connect with Moyka here ::
Stream: ‘Movies, Cars & Heartbreak’ – Moyka

:: Inside Movies, Cars & Heartbreak ::

Movies, Cars & Heartbreak - Moyka

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Action sets the scene for the whole album and is the introduction to this cinematic universe. It’s an introduction to the sound, the scene, the colours and themes of the record.


I wrote this song when I felt hopeless and scared of not being able to be the person I needed to be for myself. A snapshot of my heart cracked open, swimming in tears, looking for a sweet escape in someone else.
Each song on the album creates a bigger story together starting from the moment you press play all the way to the end. We dive into the deep, but not without glimmers of hope. We go through high highs and low lows, and on the other side awaits the person you never knew you could be. The only way is through, right?

Rear View

Witnessing a love turn into a destructive obsession. At first glance; a love song with a bitter aftertaste. Being in someone’s rear view mirror, holding onto a love that can’t be saved. Letting yourself hold on a little longer – not ready to let go yet.
A recipe for disaster. I find it fascinating that we’re able to do this to ourselves, even when we might know it’s destructive. It’s the fantasy in our minds that we’re holding on to; that they might turn around. Rear View is a reminder to never let that happen again, but I guess some of us have to learn the hard way.

Perfect Movie Scene

Have you ever felt like life is a movie? The camera is rolling, the song has already started playing, you’re on the move to somewhere, leaning your head against the window as we pass streets, lights, parks and cars.
This song is a bargain between two strong parts of me: the brokenhearted and the lover. One lets her sadness stand in her way while the other believes that love exists everywhere. The last couple of years have come with overwhelming waves of sadness. It’s a familiar theme, which makes me question if I was born with a broken heart or maybe just an extra triple dose of melancholia. But looking around I realize that maybe we’re all a little broken in one way or another. I’ve always let music be my safe space – where I can be free, and that’s a motivation for my own music and reasoning for pouring my heart out and putting everything on the line. Hopefully it will find the people who can feel it! This song is a reminder to be brave and carry on even through hard times, and to still dare to believe that life can be beautiful. To still be a hopeful dreamer – to still think that love can exist despite having a broken heart.

Never Say Sorry

Never Say Sorry is about looking for a real connection in this digital age we live in. Everyone has the whole world by their fingertips – swiping up, down, left and right on anything that appears in front of our eyes. “Great heartbreakers never say sorry” is the voice of apathy leaning into this scenario, but I wanted to have fun with it over a house-y beat and “yeah’s” so loud in the mix you can’t miss them.
After a long time of feeling anxious and depressed last year, I was finally able to let go of some of the things that had been holding me back. Me and Eirik (Hella, co-producer on the album)  travelled to Berlin to write music together, and I will admit; hearing the sounds of the city, feeling the pulse and the warmth of the sun, woke me up. I felt alive, I felt creative and curious. Summer came back, once again, to save me.


This is an anthem for the brokenhearted, and a reminder to never settle for someone who makes you feel lonely. You deserve to feel loved and appreciated! Everyone has their own magic to offer the world.

Already Gone

Trying to find the silver lining at the bottom. I needed a mantra that I could sing to myself, walking fast through the rain while the raindrops hit my face. I wanted to feel powerful in a time where I really didn’t feel like that at all. I created my alter-ego ´Club Moyka´, and she came through. She helped me build myself up again after feeling like I couldn’t stand up for myself.

Would You Be Mine?

The lover in me comes through. This is the most unapologetic love song I’ve ever created, and maybe the most vulnerable. There’s something so precious about putting everything on the line for someone else.

Don’t Turn Around

A heartbreak can feel as dramatic and chaotic as a car crash. Embrace for the impact! I’m a hopeless romantic, and sometimes for the worse — believing in love where there is none, daydreaming and occasionally accepting bad behaviours. Going back to someone can sometimes be easier than moving on, cause when you’re in a relationship with someone, you open portals you’ll never be able to close again. But it’s important to remember that you left that love for a reason. This song addresses that kind of situationship where the door is always open – all you have to do is turn around and it’s on again. Just as easy as lighting a match.

The End

Eirik and I wanted to make something that feels like it could be the end of a movie – the song wraps bows of any loose threads from the journey through the album, making it a final ending.

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:: stream/purchase Movies, Cars & Heartbreak here ::
:: connect with Moyka here ::

— — — —

Movies, Cars & Heartbreak - Moyka

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? © Ida Fiskaa
art © Sara Westgaard Karlsen

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