Channeling her inner DIY punk ethos, The Practice of Freedom, which is produced by video director and photographer Vice Cooler, covers topics ranging from eroticism and empowerment to addiction and apocalypse, and is in keeping with Louisahh’s raw, uncompromising releases on RAAR, the label she runs alongside close friend Maëlstrom.
“This work was born out of a moment where i was both grieving a great loss and also falling in love for the first time,” Louisahh explains. “The circumstances surrounding the album made it possible to re-contextualize older lyrical ideas in a fresh way, and working with Vice helped me return to a more ‘American’ alternative sound, as the references we had in common were the stuff that we both grew up on: Garbage and Nine Inch Nails.
“I felt like i had to leave and re-root in the culture of more ‘European club music’, high-brow techno, in order to return without shame or irony to the kind of industrial pop that is the core of ‘The Practice of Freedom’.”
A champion of feminist and LGBTQ+ representation in the music industry, Louisahhh also sought to infuse the album with a submissive sexuality.
“Surrounding the conception of this work was a new lifestyle evolving for me, finding a new identity as ‘feminist/submissive’, and getting into the world of BDSM, i discovered a new sense of empowerment, connection, and capacity for love and relationship that i had all but written off.
“After Shadow Work [an EP released in 2015], I felt like I had begun to embrace a lot of my more base desires and what i had previously perceived as ‘dark pieces’. A big mantra has recently been ‘sin is not being true to yourself’, as i began to live by that, i found myself embracing my own sexuality and need for eroticism as not shameful but vital and sacred, essential to my work as an artist.”
The album is also tinged with personal sadness, with the bereavement of someone close to her influencing tracks such as the haunting Not Dead.
“I experienced the greatest loss of my life thus far,” she explains. “I had never really had to deal with death of someone so close to me, so the grieving process was new and profound, and incredibly beautiful. It is through this crack in my heart through which new capacity love was able to pour in, unexpectedly.
“I find typically that music is a premonition, that I think it’s about something when it’s being made and it winds up being kind of a prayer galvanising me –and perhaps the listener – for the future. This is my hope for this album.”
The Practice of Freedom is released on 12 March on HE.SHE.THEY. You can pre-order it here or listen to album track Numb Undone below.
1 Love is a Punk
2 Like a Shot
4 Ferocious (Contained)
6 No Pressure
7 Not Dead
8 Numb, Undone
10 A Hard No
11 Hunter / Wolf
[Main picture by Ella Herme]