In a heartwarming tale of Meanjin musical romance, Louis Whelan (loulou) reunites with former The Mouldy Lovers bandmate Matt Hsu (Matt Hsu's Obscure Orchestra) with the experimental folk ballad 'Her Love It Rolls'.
loulou's garage/ new wave sound meets Matt's experimental art/ world music sensibilities to create an unusual, but strangely comforting ode to the loving, supportive people in all our lives (in particular for Louis, his partner Stella is known to some as maker of sweet treats Stella Pastry).
The song came about as a quarantine project, with Matt and Louis neighbours. "The song came together as a little, love song to my partner Stella," begins Louis.
"I often find myself writing really serious stuff and wanted to give it a break and try and write something pretty.
"The lyrics, guitar and synth parts of the song were written and recorded in an afternoon, and I only sent it to Matt to get an opinion really.
"I guess it resonated with him and he went ahead and built the beautiful instrumentation you hear in the final release. We're neighbours in the same unit block, so the whole collaboration has come together in this one, little piece of Highgate Hill – which I think is especially wholesome and nice in these COVID days."
Available to stream on Monday 22 June, scenestr is amped to premiere 'Her Love It Rolls' today. Enjoy.
"Louis was there for me during the first steps I took in music," adds Matt, "stoking a fire for creativity in me that took us both to strange and wonderful places.
"From hearing our first song played on radio to touring Japan, every step we took as musicians, we took them together. Then after we hung up our respective instruments up and closed that chapter, I heard Louis' music grow and evolve, often on the other side of the wall we share as neighbours. I was always struck by his raw, creative tenacity despite no formal music training, and he's just continued to grow.
"Louis showed me the song he wrote about his partner Stella, who I adore, delivered with a vocal sensitivity I'd never heard from him before and I was floored. I knew the song was really special, and I couldn't help but be a part of it, bringing the sensibilities I'd grown through Obscure Orchestra to song.
"I started adding textures. I thought of each layer a soft sheet, heaped to create a gently interwoven 'blanket' of sound onto Louis' incredibly emotive and whole feeling 'bed'.
"After adding a myriad of instruments, then stripping it back again, what remained was mbira, clarinets, hang drum, mandolin, musical saw, cello, a dried pumpkin as a shaker, and water-filled cups – something Louis showed me about a decade ago.
"Without Louis welcoming me to the little musical duo that would become a decades-long romp as The Mouldy Lovers, I honestly doubt I'd have the musical life that I love now, as a composer. I loved reuniting creatively with Louis and witnessing layer by layer how much he's grown, and contributing to a tribute to an incredibly lovely human."