In his debut EP, North Londoner Louis Dunford takes us back to the streets we grew up on, and to an era of music now nostalgic. The Morland EP—released today along with the new single, “When We Were Hooligans,” via Sony—positions Dunford amidst a heady mix of late noughties and early tens influence, while still, somehow, feeling fresh.
Transcending genres and sound, no two tracks are the same on The Morland EP. Here’s where Louis’ mystery lies: in his scope of style and emotion, as his literal lyrics don’t leave much room for nuance. The five tracks take us on a journey of hometown pride in “London’s Requiem,” reminiscent of Adele’s “Hometown Glory” (2008), through to a sound not unlike The Streets in “Regretamine;” via an authoritative, upbeat look back at teenage London life in new track “When We Were Hooligans,” where with his rolled Rs and deft pre-chorus transitions, he could pass for a London Alex Turner. Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard are potential influences, too, on “Ballad of Benjamin” and “Hello Depression” respectively.
We feel at home with Louis. Safe. Despite his range, his coherent lyrics—in both enunciation and meaning—ground his sound. He digs deep, however: his topics of drugs and depression evoke strong sympathies. But there’s an underlying optimism; there’s always the promise of an uplift throughout the EP. “I’ve got depression,” he croons at the end of the final track, and we feel heard in his honesty. But “depression’s not got me,” he sings in closing, and listeners are left if not yet triumphant, then at least with some hope.
Top Track: “When We Were Hooligans”