One of the most important things about music is its ability to create a connection between the artist and listener. The Morland EP, the debut from singer-songwriter, Louis Dunford, does this exceptionally well. Transitioning between hilarious drug related anecdotes to heart-wrenching tales of depression and loss, this project provides a snapshot of Dunford’s life growing up in Morland Mews, North London.
In an Instagram post last month, Dunford explained how this EP is “a collection of songs that are very important to me. They’re the stories from the best and the worst days of my life.” This perfectly illustrates the essence of what The Morland EP is.
Dunford’s lyrics provide an image of the London he has experienced. While the opening track, ‘London’s Requiem’, finds Dunford showcasing the beauty in his city, ‘When We Were Hooligans’, is a comedic yet also reminiscent look back at his teenage years, where he would sneak out and drink in the local park with his mates before being chased by the police.
Where the EP reaches its emotional climax is with ‘The Ballad of Benjamin’, which is dedicated to Dunford’s close friend Benjamin Kinsella, who was stabbed to death by three men in June 2008. His lyrics are particularly raw on this track, with gut wrenching lines such as “And I was there I swear I tried my best / To stop the bleeding from the holes in your chest”. Don’t make the same mistake I did by not having a box of tissues by your side on this one.
The EP’s closer, ‘Hello Depression’, explores Dunford’s relationship with his mental health; it’s a product of the “worst days” of his life. Dunford’s voice is open and vulnerable as he sings “when I drink I just think, and when I think I just sink, into your arms once more”. Yet there is also a defiance in the last words of the closing track as Dunford sings “I’ve got depression / depression’s not got me”.
With the threat of COVID-19 causing another national lockdown, our mental health is more important than ever. Dunford’s defiance and resolve to take control of his depression can provide a sense of hope for those dealing with mental health problems. One thing 2021 certainly needs is more music from Louis Dunford.
Words by Thomas Manning
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