Dea Nammu’s “I Can’t Breathe” is a Darkwave Chant For Primal Human Rights

Dea Nammu, photo courtesy the artists

The granular distortion on the cycling electronics at the beginning and throughout Spanish post-punk band Dea Nammu’s “I Can’t Breathe” really enhances a pervading sense of dread and menace. With the measured electronic percussion and minimal guitar work and almost chanted lyrics the song is reminiscent of something Nitzer Ebb might do if it emerged today and came up through the more industrial end of darkwave. But instead of that urgent pacing, this song traces a slow and tortured path as suggested by its lyrics that seem to describe life under an authoritarian order. But it’s more complicated than that though the lyrics are very repetitive and simple. How many people being oppressed directly by state sanctioned violence have declared they can’t breathe? A simple right essential to survival and one that is threatened by air pollution. But that statement in this song and the chorus of “breathe and die” with breath as a metaphor for freedom and life works as the shouted words in Nitzer Ebb’s “Join in the Chant” where the words take on a mythological and symbolic rather than a face value significance and as such the song feels like something much bigger than its individual spare elements suggest separately. Listen to “I Can’t Breathe” on YouTube and follow the Madrid-based Dea Nammu at the links provided.

Dea Nammu on Instagram

Author: simianthinker

Editor, primary content provider for this blog. Former contributor to Westword and The Onion.

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