Louis The Child approach their music with a mixture of love and curiosity. The Chicago-bred duo’s emotional electronic music, with its moving melodies and warm sonics, is meant for feeling part of something bigger than oneself. Heartfelt songwriting about love and living in the now, combined with wildly diverse soundscapes pulling from the past and future of dance music, makes their music feel timeless yet adventurous—flowing wherever inspiration takes them. That spontaneity informs Louis The Child (Freddy Kennett and Robby Hauldren) in everything they do, from their everything-goes Playground Radio show to the more personal clothes and paintings they make at home. Most recently, it has led them to their latest project, Black Marble, an instrumental tape exploring their clubbier sensibilities.
“We’re always creating a million different things,” says Kennett.
Louis The Child describe the sound of Black Marble as “really dark and grimy.” Opener “Black Marble Intro” sets the tone, with clanging metallic percussion and eerie chords. The 17-track release functions less as a collection of singles and more as a seamless DJ set meant to be enjoyed in a near-pitch-black room, where the sound system is banging and sweat is dripping down the walls. The tape will be accompanied by a visual inspired by film noir and dance choreography. “I feel like watching a dancer is a fun way to accompany the music instead of crazy visuals,” Kennett says. “It’s more of a human experience that way.”
Louis The Child broke out in 2015 with their debut single, “It’s Strange” featuring K.Flay, a chilled slice of electronic pop which earned major co-signs from pop royalty Taylor Swift and Lorde. After releasing their 2020 debut album, Here for Now—a vulnerable body of work about appreciating loved ones while they’re here—Louis The Child cycled back to the sounds of dance music circa 2010-2012 on their Euphoria EP (2021), a bundle of pastel-tinted complextro made to celebrate the first festivals after lockdown. The To Believe EP (2022) further flirted with more club-friendly styles while maintaining their classic drops.
For every released song, many others—scrapped ideas and purely-for-the-fun-of-it sketches—were tucked away in laptop folders, presumably never to see the light of day. Rather than keep them there, Louis The Child elected instead to release the demos in mix format as a full project: Candy. The first beat tape, released in 2017, unveiled woozy hip-hop, distorted steel-drum loops, and beyond—bite-sized pieces rich with texture and color. Candy II (2020) went deeper, patching together hip-hop-indebted, hard-hitting bass music with unruly house and fuzzy acid. For both releases, Kennett and Hauldren helped create psychedelic neon visuals compiled from videos they took on their iPhones of unfurling landscapes.
Candy presented an avenue for Louis The Child to show off their extensive range, but its instrumental nature also presented a challenge: “You really gotta make the sounds stand out and be interesting the whole way through,” says Kennett. “When you’re producing a song that someone’s singing over, you can make the production simple at times. But when it’s just production, it needs to be exciting. Things need to be happening.”
Louis The Child started working on Black Marble while making Euphoria. “We were like, we could do a Candy III, but it just didn’t interest us to do a third of something we’ve already done,” Hauldren says. From Candy’s bright aesthetic, the duo ran in the opposite direction: black and white. Despite Black Marble’s stark contrast and darker, heavier sounds, Louis The Child are still reaching for music that sounds fun—think wriggling, ravey synth stabs and tropical interludes—and that ultimately fosters a communal bond. “I just want people to feel like it's music they can get down to,” Hauldren says. “In the end, I want them to have whatever personal connection feels best to them.”
Like Euphoria, Black Marble pushes at the boundaries of festival-ready rave music, combining yipping moombahton and grinding electro house with big-room techno, classic 303 acid basslines, and LTC’s classic melodies and chord breakdowns—never staying in one place for too long. It’s the kind of variety that makes a good DJ set, yet it’s also reflective of the duo’s creative process. They worked on Black Marble on and off between other projects for a year and a half, letting in various influences as they came. “It’s a lot of trial and error and letting the project evolve over time,” says Hauldren.
“Your subconscious does work for you,” Kennett adds.
Through Black Marble, Louis The Child reaffirm their belief that no matter what they make, their music will always be a reflection of their wide-ranging interests. What they create next is simply up to how far their curiosity can take them. “It’s exciting to keep trying new things with a different approach,” Kennett says. “I see us continuing to make these projects, and I think the goal is just to enjoy every step of the way.”