MEAWW's Basement Tapes: MARCELØ DEISS weaves in social and political commentary into bluesy 'Horses Running'
The South American artist draws inspiration from blues-rock, folk and even dystopian movies and sci-fi books to shape his lyrics
Brazilian artist MARCELØ DEISS has dropped his new single 'Horses Running', and this one definitely cuts deep.
While DEISS draws musical inspiration from blues, folk and rock all tied into a contemporary indie sound, his lyrics weave in social commentary via topics such as greed, hypocrisy and despair, as well as the absurdity of daily life including the overuse of technology and economic policy.
The intensity of such topics should come as no surprise from an artist like DEISS. He spends his time between London and Sao Paulo and is thus exposed to an interestingly wide range of musical influences and life experiences. The South American singer is clearly enamored with the human condition and uses irony, satire and dark humor to convey how he sees the world.
As an artist, DEISS chooses to explore the struggles of the underclass and by extension, his music is anti-establishment, anti-capitalist and anti-war. He points to artists such as BB King and Eric Clapton as musical influences that shaped his love for the blues, but it's visual artists like Steve Cutts and John Holcroft who have really shaped DEISS' political and social views. Speaking about their influence on his work, DEISS says, "Cutts and Holcroft’s work embodies a powerful and scary message about humankind which we can all really relate to as human beings. Their work really helped create a clear vision of what I was trying to achieve sonically."
In his latest single, 'Horses Running', DEISS touches on the struggles and injustices we see in the society and how these affect us, revealing the singer's dissatisfaction with those in power. Given the singer's propensity for writing music that serves as a commentary on the system, it's no surprise he sees a lot of these world issues as being like the dystopian worlds depicted in sci-fi books like 'Brave New World', '1984' and 'The Year Of The Flood'.
"I think it's important to discuss topics about our society and the current problems we face together in the modern world," DEISS says. "This to me seems more relevant due to the current situation our society is facing right now."
While the climate of the time was heavily influenced by social and political movements like Brexit, Me Too, Black Lives Matter and the run of Trump, among various other instances of oppression and class struggle, the sentiment in DEISS' music is just as relevant to the current coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the world. After all, in addition to the devastation it has unleased on people, it has also revealed some of the largest sociopolitical issues the world faces — lack of preparedness on the part of the governments and health bodies being one of the biggest problems. In that regard, DEISS' thought that we were not too far away from turning into the very dystopian worlds that inspired his work seems to be coming to pass.
'Horses Running' is, therefore, an extremely relevant piece of work for the modern times that combines DEISS' love for blues-rock with powerful lyrics that spark much-needed conversations about where we stand as a society. The vintage sound of the track produced through the use of analog equipment blends effortlessly with the contemporary indie sound providing the perfect backdrop for DEISS' message and it really makes you wonder whether we have ever done enough. And hopefully, that question prompts us to shift how we do things today.
'MEAWW's Basement Tapes' is a weekly column that shines a spotlight on undiscovered/underrated musical gems.