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The Music of Louis DeFelice
Muchmore's - Brooklyn
Sunday, June 24th | 9:30pm | Free
Bowery Electric - Manhattan
Sunday, July 1st | 10:30 pm | $5/21+
Pianos - Manhattan
Tuesday, July 31st | 10:00 pm | $8/21+
[To read a recently published profile of Louis, click here.]
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Louis grew up listening to and loving the music of Johnny Cash and Simon & Garfunkel. Later taking interest in contemporary folk artists such as Damien Rice and The Avett Brothers, he took a break from guitar and picked up the banjo. Starting to fingerpick 'Scruggs style," he developed something that resembled musical ability. When he switched back to guitar a year or so later, he could translate the banjo's fingerpicking style to play the guitar-oriented songs of the writers he admired.
Though he enjoyed playing music, Louis mostly spent his time from ages 14-19 studying classical ballet. Training at several conservatories, including the Royal Ballet School in London, and performing semi-professionally by age 19, he was completely engrossed in the art form. Music was a hobby, ballet was a religion.
Louis's interest in writing songs grew, however, during his final year as a ballet dancer. Saving some money to buy a microphone, he started making recordings for SoundCloud in the one-bedroom apartment he shared with two other dancers in Washington, D.C. Realizing that he could record and edit for hours on end without eating or feeling like he was working, he had found something that could compete with ballet for his energy. Discovering this passion and, around the same time, being accepted at Yale University, Louis danced for the final time in a May 2015 performance at the Kirov Academy in Washington, D.C.
In the fall of 2015, Louis enrolled at Yale University. Finding a semi-soundproof practice room in which he could record, he would bring a suitcase of audio gear there several nights a week and build a makeshift recording studio. Learning as he went along, he recorded for family, friends, and a SoundCloud audience of ±12 people. Encouraged by friends to gather the songs into an actual album, he started googling.
Discovering that recording an album was actually possible, Louis began to pursue it seriously. Finding a partner in Edward Lidow, an engineer at Miami's Hit Factory, he had someone with the skill to raise the relatively homemade recordings to a professional level and with whom he could develop ideas and improve arrangements. Recording in earnest through the winter of 2015-16, Take Me by My Words was completed in the spring and released on May 1st, 2016.
The summer of 2015 brought a hiatus from music while Louis lived in the Netherlands and built a financial education website that has bittersweetly reached far more people than the music has. During the 2016-17 school year, Louis returned to the padded rooms to record a full-length album. Tin Stars was released on April 1st, 2017. He was again aided by Ed Lidow, the talented instrumentalists who contributed to the EP, and many more musicians who lent a much-needed amount of musical decency to the project.
Louis's newest record is titled Morning Airs. It is set for release on May 1st, 2018. It is the product of a year of sudden, immense losses and slow, unexpected gains. The album treats the subjects of grief and heartache, as well as the bittersweet sentiments that accompany new feelings of love, affection, and devotion. It is Louis's first time producing, mixing, and mastering his own music, and his first round of recording with Hersh Gupta (Saxophone), Catherine Cerise (Viola), and Jerilyn McLean (Mandolin, Vocals). The artwork was created by Rayne MacPhee.