Morgan Myles‘ 2020 album Therapy arrived out of a difficult period that included a tumultuous break with her manager and agent and a series of devastating personal losses. The singer kept finding little reasons — small pieces of a bigger picture — to keep her career going, but it wasn’t always easy, and often included some serious self-doubt and -loathing.
During a trip to Los Angeles, Myles penned the song “Mad at Myself” about that time. It’s written like a love song, but, as the singer tells The Boot, it was directly inspired by her career situation. Read on as Myles shares the story behind the song, which she co-wrote with Riley Biederer, Scott Effman and Jason Mater.
I had just landed in LA and came straight to the studio. I had this line, “mad at myself,” in my notes for some time, and my producer started a track that just seemed to fit this concept perfectly.
Truly, [the idea came] from just what it says: “I’m just mad at myself …” By the time I wrote this song, I had taken so many personal and professional attacks by my then-manager that I was asking myself, “Is it all really worth this, compromising my happiness to only be miserable? Is it worth being disrespected like this?”
My mom has always said, “When the music doesn’t make you happy anymore — that’s when you know it’s time to quit.” Music, to me, is every single part of who I am, so the experience was like losing my soul. I was so frustrated that I was in this scenario after working tirelessly in this tough industry for so long … Why was this happening? What did I do to deserve this? All those thoughts and emotions are what lead to the idea for this song.
Most of the songs being written during this challenging time were my passive-aggressive way of trying to be heard and fight for myself. The writing room was the one place that I felt no one could hurt me. My former manager was actually present when I was brought this idea to be written, so I asked him to leave — which only added emotional fuel to my fire. As soon as my manager left the room, I felt I could pour my frustration into the music …
This song was written very fast. There was so much tension — this song is truly a release of that tension. I have to say, I love the opening line: “Now that I’m sitting here drowning in aftermath, I should have known better… I could have been better.” When I was writing this song, I was truly in a headspace of “I am not good enough?” — “I hate myself” was a common thought. I just felt like I couldn’t win, and I was upset that I trusted the wrong people, and no matter how hard I tried to be heard, it was like I wasn’t allowed. I became a shell of my former self. When I hear that first line now, it just reminds me how grateful I am for no longer being where I was.
I wrote this song with my producer, Jason Mater, as well as two other writers: Riley Biederer and Scott Effman. We were creating a lot of the production ideas during the writing process, which I love doing because it definitely influences where you go with the melody and just the overall vibe of the song.