Marcelo Moreyra is one-third of the post punk-garage rockabilly band, Mujercita Terror (which you may recall from this article). Since the group’s emergence in 1999, Mujercita Terror has been known for their violent and disturbing surf rock lullabies and eerie live shows.
During these years, the three self-proclaimed soul mates– Daniela Zahra, Marcelo and Frederico Losa– have created a strong cult following of fans, and seem to balance their musical personas well by keeping themselves tucked inside a cloak of mystique while maintaining a sense of accessibility and a down-to-earth, humanistic openness.
With it, the trio went on to release two full-length albums, a self-titled debut in 2007, and a sophomore album Excavaciones in 2011.
Nonetheless, guitarist/vocalist Marcelo found himself writing songs that did not fit within the tonal and atmospheric context of Mujercita Terror, and began to play with other musicians. After realizing that working with other people outside of Mujercita Terror caused him to become “emotionally erratic,” he found it simpler and much less dramatic to sing and play songs on his own. He called his solo side project, which includes Daniela Zahra at times, Envidia.
When explaining the inspiration of Envidia’s music, Morayra expresses, “I don’t know if it can be called folk, but I remember listening to Ronnie Self’s country albums. Because of the strange lyrics, I could hardly believe a lot of the things he mentions, but the songs blew my mind.”
He continues, “Or think of an episode of The Twilight Zone in which a rockabilly man finds a girl singing an odd song. He falls under the charm of her melody and ends up dead. In that low-key song I find the same level of sickness that Hasil Adkins has when he sings about cutting heads off. They are the same to me. I find them everywhere.”
Marcelo’s openness and fascination with love, death and cultish underground films triggered him to branch out in other expressive realms. The soft and sensual morbidness of Envidia’s music brings a charm, and a dark sense of romance and pain to listeners.
“The songs are part of my visions of life and what is related to them. It is something that makes a silent observer fulfill his desire; waiting for nothing, facing death, creating alternative paths to survive to other lives, describing the tortures of the boy soul, trying always to capture the perfect or irreparable moments or things that happen in life. I don’t know… That’s the way I choose songs for Envidia.”
Marcelo finds it easy and therapeutic when writing songs for Envidia because he can work on them alone in his spare time. He is also in frequent rehearsals with Mujercita Terror where he must attend band meetings and work hard with his friends and bandmates. Envidia is a project that allows him to express himself in the comfort of any space he chooses; quietly, or in any other state or frame of mind that he might be in.
Envidia has recorded a new album. Marcelo created it with Andres Caceres, a local DJ who played different parties with him in and around Argentina. He doesn’t know when he’s going to release the yet-to-be-titled album as he is considering whether or not he will create a book of his writing to accompany a physical CD, and subsequently release the full effort as a downloadable album. Although Moreyra doesn’t have a solid plan when it comes to releasing his full-length album, he has been busy creating and releasing music videos and singles online. He calls his music videos “home videos.”
“I have some homemade videos: “Aberracion” is a magical thing captured by Daniela. She found a dying butterfly and put it in the water where it came back to life. This happened at a Mexican river. The other is in my mother’s home with my niece Celeste. It’s called “Navidad” because it took place on Christmas Day. Daniela filmed it and that gave the title to the song. Sometimes the video quality is the least important thing.”
Marcelo has also released a few tracks on Envidia’s Soundcloud and plays shows around Buenos Aires with Daniela.
It’s always a risky occurrence when a member of a popular band strikes out on their own to create art that seems to be the antithesis of what they do as a collective. In this case: an intriguing result! Envidia seems to be an acoustic extension of Mujertcita Terror, and yet there is emotion and romance within Envidia that doesn’t find a very comfortable place in his more prevalent and contrasting music project.
When asked if he believed in love and why he wrote the songs he wrote he answered, “I cannot find a relation between the two things. But love exists or remains vanished forever.”
Thumbnail photo credit by María Celeste Escobar
You can catch Envidia live with PAAR and Siempre on August 25th at Casita Temperley in Buenos Aires!