ME and Deboe are a combination of two incredible forces, merged together to create a sound like no other. Follow us as we talk about their love for live gigs, unlikely individual styles that match together, and how they turn 90s dance tracks into a huge live sound with just two guitars, on this week’s podcast.
Yeah, so ‘me’ is actually Mercy’s initials (Mercy Elise), and then Deboe is Sarah’s surname. We’re not that self-indulgent, you see! We couldn’t think of anything else to call ourselves, but this seemed to work, so here you go!
Music is so powerful, you can channel anything through it. We don’t tend to discuss the meaning behind songs very much, we just throw it out there and it’s there for people to do what they want with it. Everything has a meaning, and a social comment, almost poetry I guess. We don’t really indulge in it all, we like to leave it for them to find their own meaning behind the words. But sometimes it’s really interesting to discuss, and I understand why people enjoy it! If a tune has a strong beat, and a bit of a vibe going on, but there’s also a strong message there, that’s even better.
We quite enjoy what would normally just be seen as dance music, or electronic music, and interpreting it in a different way. It’s working with what we’ve got already, and not thinking you’ve got to add in synth pads or whatever. If you can keep it raw but still have that energy that makes people want to dance to it… that’s what we love to do because it’s unexpected. It’s funny us being in the ‘acoustic’ bracket, because when you think of acoustic music you think of something slow and low-key, but I think it’s great to create a huge atmosphere with just our guitars and voices. I always like to imagine there’s a 10-piece orchestra behind me when we play!
Definitely the sound and the music first, then lyrics after. What drew me (Elise) to Sarah at first was her guitar style when she played her solo stuff. It all started with that, jamming with our guitars, and then came the vocals and harmony after. We tend to have a catalogue of music, and then put together some lyrics and see if it fits any of the music we’ve already got down. On the odd occasion it’s lyrics first, but the majority stems from jamming with our instruments.
Yeah so like we said before, we were both established solo performers, and had both come out of studying. We met by being on the same line up together, and just loving each other’s music. Sarah played some incredible voicings on the guitar, and me (Elise) coming from more of a classical, flamenco style playing found this really interesting. It’s not two styles that you’d think would work together really; Sarah loves the Merseybeat, 50s/60s music, and I (Elise) enjoy the 80s Kate Bush, 90s grunge type. It’s an amalgamation of noise, on paper it definitely doesn’t work! Our music is where we meet in the middle, music-wise.
We bounce off the live audience, which is sometimes a great thing and sometimes a bad thing I guess! I think it’s great to bounce off that energy and bounce for each other as well! There’s often times where in-between songs we will test the waters with a new idea we’ve been working on, even if it’s just a chord progression or whatever, and jam out a bit on stage before merging into a song that exists that we would normally play. It kind of introduces it to the listeners, and gives us a chance to see if it could work. We love changing up the set like that, and a lot of our songs we’ve done over the past few years have come from those moments.
Tommy from Space is wonderful, we’ve done a little show with him, and as a songwriter he’s such a unique sound. Amber Jay as well, another Liverpool artist, proper bedroom-pop style, who’s absolutely smashing it at the minute! Supports the wrong Liverpool team, but whatever! She works so hard, she knows her sound, doing it all herself – I have absolute respect for her. Baby Brave as well, Chester based, really punky stuff from them – we love their sound. Any artists that are absolutely going for it, doing it all themselves, giving it their all, we love that.
We’ve got a wonderful collaboration coming up with producer Eleanor Randle, that’s more theatre based. We’ve composed and been musical directors for that, so really excited to see it come to life. That’ll be in the new year. New singles as well, the songs we’ve done for you today are all unreleased, so getting those out as singles or potentially building up some EPs or albums around our music is definitely in the plans for the future as well. Live shows as well, obviously, we love all that.
Be sure to check out ME and DEBOE’s live session above, and the podcast on our podcast platforms!