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Marcus King on Exploring Mental Health With New Album Mood Swings

"The whole album's subject matter is really focused on mental health and struggling with it—and the decay of a relationship"
AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 13: Marcus King performs as a special guest for SPIN Magazine Presents Gary Clark Jr. at Emo's Austin on March 13, 2024 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images)

When it comes to discussing his mental health during interviews, singer-songwriter and SPIN cover star Marcus King relates the feeling to standing naked in front of someone.

But as he explains to SPIN at SXSW, his newest record, Mood Swings, became an ideal outlet to illustrate his struggles.

“The whole album’s subject matter is really focused on mental health and struggling with it—and the decay of a relationship,” King says. “When you both have troubling attachment styles, or you have co-dependent tendencies, and substance abuse compounded on top of already present mental health issues—just all bad. But [the album] was a really good vessel for me to explain it through.”

King explains that the Rick-Rubin-produced Mood Swings took the longest to create out of all his albums, and he hopes that documenting his mental health journey can help others.

“This whole process took two, two-and-a-half years, between the writing process and recording,” King says. “It just kind of took a little while to discover that self-awareness and to have that clear vision of what the path is.”