Stories

Edition #34 • Louis Dunford, Levin Goes Lightly, Loupe, Mastergrief, Claud

🕒 This newsletter is 704 words, a 6-minute read.

There’s nothing like a great story. Stories capture our attention, spark our imagination, and fuel our creativity. They can change the world.

For ten years, storytelling was my job. Today it’s my passion.

And music is simply the extension of storytelling to our bodies, even purely instrumental songs tell us something. They still stir up emotions.

In today’s episode of Weekly5, the five songs all tell great stories: depressing descriptions of reality, longing tales, poetic narratives, and the mandatory love story.

Best regards,

Louis Dunford – My Generation

He is the UK’s poster child of an up and coming songwriter: Louis Dunford saw major success with his (highly recommended) debut single London’s Requiem in 2020. After the first EP, The Moreland EP, he released a stunning new song: My Generation.

I see the local lads who did smash-and-grabs
On tag outside probation
I see the demonized and traumatized
By social deprivation
It's too gеntrified to attempt to die
In thе block where life started
'Cause they regenerate every estate
To cleanse the working classes

The track is another proof of Dunford’s storytelling talent. „This song started as a poem that I wrote about members of my family and friendship circle and the struggles I see them take on every day. When I sing every line, I see each specific person and situation in my head,“ he explains. 

My Generation is a dark take on society and its widening gaps—beautifully told and accompanied by a grande arrangement. It chills you to the bones.

Levin Goes Lightly – Geschichten

New Wave ambience meets a Joy Division-sounding guitar and ultimately collides with repetitive lyrics. Geschichten by Levin Stadler, aka Levin Goes Lightly, is an eclectic interpretation of the 80’s darkness and develops an intruiging hypnotic quality.

Geschichten was released as part of the album Rot, the first sign of life by Levin Goes Lightly in two years. Despite the sinister goth groove, the song incorporates a powerful drive. Yes, there certainly resides thoughtfulness (maybe even melancholy) in Geschichten. But so does acceptance. 

While the song increasingly gains traction, it seems that Levin Goes Lightly falls more and more into a state of euphoria. Ecstasy is building, creating a sense of catharsis.

Loupe – Leave Me There

Here comes the longing. Dutch indie outfit Loupe released the first EP Older. In the opening track Leave Me There, the band tells us about the desire for a bit of calm. Pressing pause on the stressful life. Stop the rush.

Loupe incorporate the song’s message in sound. For most of its runtime, Leave Me There is a gentle, dreamy indie-pop—a relaxing yearning for peace.

But then, in the last seconds, the chaos returns with Loupe bursting into a louder rock. It’s the realisation that it’s this everyday chaos that keeps you alive.

Mastergrief – Please

Introducing Mastergrief, the new band by Swiss musician Joachim Setlik. Some may know him from Sheila She Loves You. But, with Matthias Gusset, Alon Ben and Raphael Scheiwiller, he decided to discover smoother sideroads of pop music.

Please, Mastergrief’s debut single starts with spheric synthesizers. Shimmering, filigree instruments huddle together, creating an idyllic atmosphere. Yet, Setlik’s falsetto singing carries a deep vulnerability. And the song’s refrain is filled with doubt; the music becomes borderline dystopic.

“I wrote the song as a friendly reminder to myself that I can give up control more often in the creative process and trust myself and my inner world,“ says Setlik.

Claud – Tommy

Claud, the 21-year-old rising star of bedroom pop, returns with the single Tommy after their debut album Super Monster arrived in February. The new song by the Chicago-based, non-binary artist is a hurting ballad. „I'm the drink that you keep filling and spilling on your hands/ You can clean it up like nothing happened,“ sings Claud.

You keep the lights down low
Keepin' your eyes closed
But it won't change the feel of my body
When you say my name
It don't hold the weight
Like it does when you talk about Tommy

The reverb-heavy voice, combined with a reduced arrangement dominated by a guitar, still creates a dense feeling. Despite Tommy‘s minimal setup, the song hits hard. It‘s a punch to the stomach, a knife to the heart.