Self-proclaimed “future-rock” band Outernational release their visceral new single, “El Desafiante,” today via Tom Morello‘s Firebrand Records. The politically themed track — whose title translates to “The Defiant One” — is a hybrid of militant funk-rock, hip-hop and mariachi, inspired by the 43 Mexican student-activists who disappeared one year ago.
“We fought, rebelled, we struggled, we yelled/Our voices echo through these hills,” sings frontman Miles Solay over tense tremolo riffs, rapid-fire percussion and swelling brass. “Am I a ghost stuck in a star in the sky?/Am I a distant memory in your mind?” The track features contributions from Mexican string trio Villalobos Brothers and members of Panteon Rococo.
The video for “El Desafiante,” directed by Cobra Films, features Solay and company performing in the streets, blended with images of protesters and fans chanting the lyrics.
“We are proud to have Outernational as the latest signees to Firebrand Records,” Morello tells Rolling Stone. “Their first single, ‘El Desafiante,’ is a clarion call to action on and off the dance floor. Released on the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 Mexican student activists, Outernational forges elements of the Clash, Rage Against the Machine and Calle 13 into a ferocious and uncompromising new ‘future rock.'”
“This song was inspired by the memory and the defiant spirit of the 43 students who were disappeared by the government in Ayotzinapa, Mexico,” says Solay. “But it could easily be about any of our countless sisters and brothers across the planet, victims of the oppressive systems that rule the world; whether victims of U.S. drones in Yemen and Afghanistan, the North African migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea or Black and Latino people killed by police in the United States.”
In 2012, Outernational released Todos Somos Ilegales, an 18-track concept LP focused on the struggles and dreams of immigrants from Latin America.