Double life liver Louie Lahana is a schoolteacher during the day and describes himself as a “musician after midnight.” His music is a rather unique combination of acoustic alternative and hip hop. I’ve heard other artists classify their music in this way, and usually it just turns out to be someone rapping loudly over rock music, basically like “rapcore.” However, in Lahana’s case his music really does sound like alternative music. A big part of this is his vocal delivery, which sounds more like John McCrea of Cake or Bright Eyees than Ghostface Killah or even Fred Durst. In other words, this is the good stuff.
One of Lahana’s latest singles, Taxi, reassures the listener almost immediately with its earthy and vibrant accoustic guitar tone, rhythmically performed and pleasant to the ear. Lahana’s comfortable singing voice and dynamic delivery elevate these recordings beyond the realm of mere spoken word slam poetry. It kind of reminds me of some of Lou Reed’s post Velvet Underground material like Walk on the Wild Side. The backing / harmony vocals contributed by Tehillah Henry manage to take the song even further. The lengthy and comprehensive lyrics in Taxi supposedly tell a tale of “nostalgia and trauma in a cab on the way to work” (hey who can’t relate to that?) The song ultimately tells us much more though, as we realize that Louie Lahana isn’t just a school teacher who tinkers with music on the side. He’s someone who releases top tier, chartworthy indie songs, and who just so happens to also be a teacher.
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