Life may be finite, but it grants infinite possibilities for happiness and hope in each fleeting moment. Louis The Child make the most of those moments on their full-length debut, the aptly titled Here For Now [Interscope]. The Chicago-bred duo—Freddy Kennett and Robby Hauldren—float through electronic, pop, and alternative with wide-eyed wonder, adventurous spirit, and the elation of being present. Over the course of the record, the group deliver 14 anthemic affirmations of a universal truth.
“There are a few messages throughout the album,” explains Freddy. “Primarily, it’s about realizing and accepting how short this life is, trying to appreciate the moments we get, and finding the magic in every second because we’re only here for now.”
“We wrote songs about the way we view the world,” Robby elaborates. “The way we treat each other matters. We can be a positive light. Let’s not stress the small things. Let’s make our experience the best we can for ourselves and everyone around us.”
A whirlwind rise prepared them to make such a statement. Since 2013, the pair have popped off as a phenomenon streamed upwards of 600 million times and endorsed by pop royalty such as Taylor Swift and Lorde. “Go” notably soundtracked an Apple iPad commercial in 2017, while their breakthrough “Better Not” with WAFIA earned a gold certification from the RIAA and powered the 2018 Kids At Play EP. Along the way, the boys packed hallowed venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO and New York’s Terminal 5 where they sold out a three-night stand. In addition, Louis The Child made explosive appearances at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, and beyond. Not to mention, they garnered acclaim from Billboard, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, Hypebeast, Dancing Astronaut, and more.
Along the way, the vision for what would become Here For Now took shape. Robby and Freddy traded books such as The War of Art, A New Earth, Untethered Soul, The Dhammapada, The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness, This Could Be Our Future, and more. In between reading and meditating, the guys also absorbed their surroundings at festivals and on tour.
“We watched other artists, met fans, and saw the positive connection you can have with someone you’ve never met before through music,” states Freddy. “We tried to see the world in this universal light and put those commonalities into a body of work.”
Kicking off the process, the musicians initially penned the dreamy piano-driven “We Are Here For Now” while on tour late 2018. Throughout the next year, Here For Now came together one piece at a time. They teamed up with Foster The People for the “Every Color,” which Rolling Stone dubbed, “an upbeat psychedelic pop number that embraces both bands’ styles.” The collaboration opened their eyes to the power of analog composition. Robby and Freddy amassed an arsenal of gear, picking up Hand Sonic electronic hand drums, MPCs, and Moog synthesizers. Drawing on these instruments added a new dimension to the music.
“The performance aspect is so important to this record,” Robby admits. “It wasn’t just about perfecting the sound on Ableton, but playing through everything with our hands.”
They paved the way for the album with “Little Things” with Quinn XCII and Chelsea Cutler. On its heels, the single “Nobody Like You” with Vera Blue cruises along on neon synths and a bouncy beat. These elements converge on a vibrant and vivid hook from Vera Blue.
“It’s about seeing something really special in another person,” Freddy remarks. “The message is pretty clear. Since we’re thinking of the people we care about, it means a lot to us. It’s an appreciation of humanity.”
A field recording of a children’s choir in Rarotonga resounds through the opener “Big Love” with EARTHGANG. Rapturous bass, tribal grooves, and glitchy electronics move in lockstep with handclaps and raucous rhymes courtesy of the Atlanta duo.
“It’s a perfect introduction,” Robby goes on. “EARTHGANG nailed it. We’re all here to love. In the end, the person who has the most love and who has given the most love will leave behind a wealth of happiness.”
They reunite with “It’s Strange” collaborator K.FLAY on “We All Have Dreams.” She delivers an emotionally charged vocal performance over sweeping keys and heavenly hums. Then, there’s “What A World” with Bob Moses, which seesaws between glimmering piano and heartfelt vocals.
“The world is out there for you to experience and for you to take advantage of it,” says Freddy. “Enjoy it There’s no point in sitting around. Go out.”
In the end, Louis The Child turn mindfulness into eternal anthems.
“The main thing is to remember the gift of each day,” Freddy leaves off. “You have the ability to make the day whatever you want, take a few steps closer to it being reality. There’s so much beauty.”
“We hope people see things from a brighter perspective ,” concludes Robby. “This is all we’ve got. We’re all just here for now. Maybe after the album, you’ll go out and do better for the world and for yourself.”