Mellah is excited to share a brand new single, Family Fun, through Columbia Records. It is lifted from his debut album, with further details to be announced later this Summer.
Premiered on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show, the track launches today alongside a colourful video where Liam Ramsden (aka Mellah) hosts a surreal version of the nineties television favourite, Family Fortunes. The song’s subject matter is decidedly bleaker, with Mellah taking an inquisitive look at society’s failings and who, along the chain, is to blame. It’s a shape-shifting, heart-racing skewed, leftfield pop song and alongside 2019’s esoteric Death, Pillage, Plunder, posits Mellah as a canny purveyor of whip-smart, clued-up indie-pop.
The video was self-directed by Mellah
To coincide with the announcement, Mellah will headline London’s Scala on the 28th October, his biggest show to date. Tickets are on sale now.
The vision for what Mellah is and what Mellah does hasn’t always followed the same path. Early recordings suggested something altogether more conventional in the singer-songwriter mould, quickly overtaken by a more menacing raw punk sound. That he now writes and produces angular pop is as much to do with a sense of self-discovery as it is a personal wish to not be curtailed. These are catchy pop songs with a with substantial message, a reason to exist. Pop with a pertinent point.
He built his Peckham based studio from scratch; as useful with an electric planer and a plank of wood as he is with three chords and an electric guitar. It’s not one of those ‘bedroom studio’ affairs either, but a veritable hub of creativity that also draws in some of the more exciting new names from South of the river, to record and to rehearse. Nilufer Yanya, Mica Levi, Alaskalaska. If not a who’s who of the scene, it’s certainly an eclectic bunch of familiar faces doing colourful things. Liam knows the score too, keeping the rent deliberately cheap and ensuring artists have somewhere to play their songs that negates the garden shed scenario. Ultimately though, it was built to give Liam his own space to create and just to be. Somewhere grounding. Somewhere with a vibe.
It’s with his hands that Mellah also inspires with his music. A multi-instrumentalist of frankly ludicrous talent, he can turn his hand to anything from drums (he began this journey as a teenage drummer), to guitars, to keys and synths, to bass, to the trumpet. The creative equivalent of those people who can speak seven different languages. An irrational annoyance led by envy.
What often fuels Mellah’s subversive insistence to try his hand at a melting pot of different genres is a niggling irritation at our country’s politics. Small p. Capital P. It inadvertently gives him both drive and purpose. For every cheap publicity win the government chases their tails after, they’re wilfully dropping endless publicity nightmares; nightmares that cost jobs, cost money, and cost lives. If that doesn’t fuel a reaction, not much will and Mellah is nauseated by frustration, blurting out those frustrations into song.
“I often feel quite a lot of anger at society and how people seem to ignore injustice just for a cup of tea and a comfy sofa. We consume these sanitised shrink-wrapped little nuggets of reality whereas the rest of the world’s crawling around in the mud. It seems crazy to me that people aren’t angry about it, don’t want it to change.”
Catchy as hell, these neon tunes pulse like a tank of crickets and glow like fireflies and lightning bugs. It’s impressive without being obtuse, widescreen without any sense of cliché.
Twelve huge months incoming.
Mellah Live //28th October – The Scala, London <Tickets>
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