South London multi-instrumentalist Mellah's new video will make you reconsider your next meal and more besides that. Taken from the U.K. artist's forthcoming Middle England EP, the darkly funny and self-directed clip shows a woman appearing to rescue a dog only when she gets the pup home things get a whole lot darker. Spoiler alert: it includes a meat mincer.
Suitable for an artist who once had a song feature on Black Mirror, Mellah's new music examines society and reflects the darker elements back at them. The "Paseo" video is a comment on the way in which humans consume meat and the cruelty that goes into the industry behind that. How, Mellah is asking, is your pet pooch different to the animals millions tuck into each and every night? Inspired by David Lynch's 1990 movie Wild At Heart, the visual mixes social commentary with a humorous wink and accompanies Mellah's freaky electro-ballad perfectly. The FADER spoke to Liam Ramsden to learn more about his new video.
The "Paseo" video is crazy, where did the idea come from?
I wanted to shed light on the hypocrisy in the reverence we hold for certain animals over others. We gladly slaughter over 56 billion animals worldwide each year for food not including fish, but the thought of killing and eating a dog seems evil to us. Our detachment from the process of death is astonishing to me, chicken shops adorn images of happy chickens with a thumbs up, McDonalds adverts show twee animated cows willingly showing you which part of their body you will eat in a burger. Why are we shocked by blood and death when most of us partake in it every day? Place a lamb and a puppy in front of a child, I guarantee you it won't play with one of them and rip the other ones leg off to munch on. The song is kind of about having a mid life crisis as well so I wanted a character to go a bit nuts... hence the maniacal, psychotic house wife.
Are there any parallels between the perfect lives we see in the video and those bombarding us on social media?
Sure. Society has this glitzy, glimmering mirror over it. The surface is all polished and sanitized. We don't want to see the 2 billion tonnes of waste we get through each year, we don't want to see the millions of people we displace or murder for resources, we just want the shiny chrome and glass, 99.9% bacteria free, homogenized, new car smell. Social media is a pretty good embodiment of society I'd say...
What can we expect from the new EP?
My last EP [2017's Liminality] was written around the time of my Dad's death and was very introspective. Middle England is definitely much more outward looking. I can't help but feel that as an artist now, with the divide rising between people and the amount of hate being thrown around, that to not react would be a little absurd. One thing I've never wanted to do as a songwriter is take sides, I don't think it's black and white, left and right, good and evil, it's much more complex. People aren't inherently good or bad, they're just products of the environment they grew up in. All I've ever tried to do is observe and comment. My drive is to say something that's real. Whatever I'm singing about I want it to ring true.
Middle England is released June 1st via Columbia Records.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Laura Pannack.