Marco Z
be | Label: Folk Spit Records

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Marco Z, pen name for Belgian singer songwriter Marco Zanetton, is back with a follow up to his debut album “The Ordinary Life of Marco Z”, which was released in 2012. It’s actually a double album consisting of two separate entities. Title: “Hold Me Like the World Is Ending”.

Going back a few years the singles “I’m a Bird”, “Endlessly Be Together” and Marketing Song” enabled Marco Z to take the leap to full time musicianship. Prestigious festival slots on Pukkelpop, Marktrock and Boomtown followed and were combined with solo support acts for legends such as Kris Kristofferson or Nick Lowe. On top of that came European support tours for David Bazan, Micah P Hinson and Jonathan Jeremiah.


In the midst of all this Marco Z’s eye kept falling on his smartphone or laptop screen. The constant cycle of news, science and technology articles fueled his mind. And along with op-eds, youtube clips and unsolicited comments the inspirational foundation was laid for the songs to appear on the double album.

Disc 1 contains a collection of 10 cleverly arranged folksy pop songs further exploring Marco Z’s personal stylistic route. All of them were self-produced and for the most part home recorded, except for drummer percussionist Arnout Hellofs’ and pianist David Poltrock’s contributions. Luc Weytjens took over mixing duties and Fred Kevorkian (of Ryan Adams, The White Stripes fame) mastered it.

Having wrapped up these recordings around the fall of 2014 Marco Z felt something was still missing. Several new songs popped up in a short period of time reflecting his constantly evolving state of mind. But instead of adding numerous layers, here he set out to capture the songs’ bare essence, adding only sparse arrangements, leaving more mental space for the listener to focus on the actual storytelling. In a couple of weeks disc 2 was recorded, another 10 songs, this time mixed by Michel ‘Shelle’ Dierickx and once again mastered by Fred Kevorkian.


Title track “Hold Me Like the World is Ending” paints a possible dystopian picture consisting of killer viruses and methane gas leaking from ocean floors upon which the main character longs for nothing but a warm embrace. Since the songs across both albums often link similar modern day universal problems to personal yearnings this title was an obvious choice.


In “Overpopulation Blues” the protagonist observes a world of solar panels and super powerful smartphones which provide more luxury but also more personal worries (“For every ailment there’s a pill but I just can’t chill when I watch the news, I got the overpopulation blues”).

In “Thomas and Me Would Agree” a young student, reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” character, addresses one of the superrich. And as the title suggest under his right arm he’s keeping a copy of French rockstar economist Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century”. Piketty himself actually ok’d the use of a 4 minute speech sample of his, which is used on this album (“No money left for our education, but your offshore accounts can save a whole nation, I’ve seen it all but hey have you seen me”).

Still, the world of Marco Z is not per se a pessimistic one. In “Kids These Days” the nostalgia myth gets busted by a generation Y’er. And in “Pull Through” droning office lingo gets transformed to rhythmic poetry symbolizing the protagonist’s dedication to a beautiful woman (“test mass mailing, quality standards, online trending, warning message”).

In “Solar Power” clean energy production gets linked to the purity of love (“our love is cleaner than solar power”), in “Supercomputer” a techno-optimist suggests rational salvation thanks to the explosion of exponential technologies (“Supercomputer, go on with the show”) and in “Paradox” the single white male, who dreads any sort of change, tries to figure out the paradox within his sudden longing to a completely unknown woman in his life (“I’m not one to trust someone new but without you what am I to do”).

All of the songs’ characters make clever observations but at the end of the day, they’re stuck, as most of us, with unanswered questions and a longing for comfort and love. “Hold Me Like the World is Ending” mirrors several generations, from teens to fifty-somethings, who keep on searching for a place in an ever fast-changing world.



Hold Me Like the World Is Ending
Folk Spit Records(2015)
The Ordinary Life Of Marco Z