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Album of the month | The Practice Of Freedom by Louisahhh

A deeply raw account from punk’s heroine on HE.SHE.THEY.

Artist: Louisahhh
Title: The Practice Of Freedom
Released: 12 March

Sounds like: An unorthodox artist baring her teeth and scars in an ultimate act of defiance


Last February, we charted Louisahhh's single Chaos in our monthly release feature. 13-months later, the album project from which it spawned finally has a public release.

It's been worth the wait.

Her story starts almost a decade earlier. As well as a producer in her own right, she came to prominence as a featured vocalist for the likes of Danny Daze, Dave Clarke and Brodinski. It was whilst working for the latter's Bromance Records, that she relocated from New York to Paris.

The move to Europe would prove the catalyst for meeting future label partner, Maëlstrom. Not only would they become frequent collaborators, but with RAAR, they could explore their shared passion of punk, techno and activism.

At her core, Louisahhh is more than a musician. She is a symbol of liberalism and freedom fighter for repressed female sexuality.

The Practice Of Freedom, her debut album, feels like these identities pulled together. As a provocative vocalist, she channels idols such as Trent Reznor of NIN, Siouxsie Sioux and punk poet laureate Patti Smith.

Co-produced by visionary musician and director Vice Cooler, the album has found a suitable home on HE.SHE.THEY. The talent agency of the label looks after artists as diverse as Maya Jane Coles, Catz N Dogz and SYREETA.

Listen to an interview with directors Steven Braines and Sophia Kearney to hear more about the philosophy behind the business.

The Practice Of Freedom

From the opening line in Love Is A Punk, Louisahhh commands us to "Listen up!" Our attention is instantly grabbed and doesn't break for the duration. The next instruction is to "get free", thus forming the overarching message of the following 11 tracks.

Although electronic in nature, The Practice Of Freedom owes a lot to alternate rock. There's elements of heavy metal, electro, techno and indie.

Chaos, Ferocious and Corrupter evoke visions of skintight leather, exposed flesh and BDSM fantasy. Think DJ W!LD's DAILYCID XXX party concept for where they would sound right at home. Meanwhile, the x-rated content of Master will have those of a conservative disposition squirming uncomfortably in their seat.

With its rumbling intro and throbbing percussion, on the surface No Pressure comes across aggressive. Confrontational, even. Scratch beneath it and the artist is baring her soul. This illusion is used repeatedly.

What's interesting here is the intersectionality of the artist and her work. No theme is off limits. Heartbreak, feminism, erotica, recovery from addiction and existential crisis are all covered. There are orgasmic highs and crashing lows.

Often these themes elicit an uncomfortable flinch, but Louisahhh is continually empowered through their bare exposure.

Throughout the album there are noises which catch you off-guard. A paranoid heartbeat, swarming insects, whirring helicopter rotors, rapid artillery fire, stilettos on metal and crazed delusions - these soundbytes are designed to disorientate and discomfort.

Cold and industrial, only a handful of tracks will translate onto a traditional dance floor.

To understand how they might work in a DJ set, watch the recent stream from Louisahhh below.

Louisahhh is a heroine for our time. Like all good superheroes, she is complex with flaws and vulnerabilities.

Practice Of Freedom is an unapologetic statement of identity.

It is, at times, brutal in execution. But that is life.

Highlights: Like A Shot, Chaos, Not Dead, Hunter/Wolf

The Practice Of Freedom is out now and available to stream and purchase at all the usual places.

To discover more music the Ibiza Spotlight team are enjoying right now, head over to our Spotify profile and click subscribe!

Other huge albums released this month:

Friend Within | Hope | Toolroom | 12 Mar
Kölsch | Isopolis | IPSO | 12 Mar
Steve O'Sullivan | Green Trax | трип | 12 Mar
dubspeeka | Valley Of The Kings | Last Night On Earth | 19 Mar
Floating Points & Pharaoh Sanders | Promises | Luaka Bop | 26 Mar

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