LAUSSE THE CAT remains for the most part, an enigma. The London born, but Leeds-based artist has exposed very little of his true identity, only sharing with us his alter-ego who takes on the role of the protagonist in his debut album, The Girl, the Cat and the Tree, which released back in 2018.
The story told throughout the album is formed using overarching themes of depression, addiction and nihilism. A story about a cat in an existential crisis who meets a tree wizard who offers the cat guidance, attempting to steer him from the dark path of self-destruction the cat finds itself on.
The creative and unique storyline uses a narrative structure typical of a fairy-tale, tropes. Such as a narrator who constructs a mischievous and fractured, yet alluring world in which LAUSSE is embedded within.
In the opening track Motor City the narrator invites us onto the streets of Motor City. The track works similarly to an opening act of a play or fable, introducing us to our main characters and setting.
The production of the track is clearly inspired by lo-fi hip-hop, a genre which has gained huge popularity in recent years among young people. This hip-hop and jazz infused sound and aesthetic runs consistently throughout the album, is understandable considering the theme of youth is ever-present.
The key theme of alcohol and drug dependence is immediately present as LAUSSE himself acknowledges his depressed and destructive relationship with alcoholic. “I don’t even see the point in gettin’ breakfast if I’m honest/ Some would say I fit the symptoms of depressed and alcoholic.”
This continues into the second track Drink With The Leaves as LAUSSE compares his alcohol abuse as a means to understand life in the same way others use religion.
The song, Fuccboi Lullaby, discusses the antics of LAUSSE and his friends at a house party and the weeks after. LAUSSE attempts to seduce a girl with playful bars offering his services as a ‘furry assistant’. LAUSSE succeeds but to the girl’s dismay, she is later cast aside as LAUSSE reverts back to his introverted nihilistic self. This presents a prominent example of LAUSSE’s insecurity and inability to form relationships through fault of his current unstable mental state.
The album’s closing track, Belle Bouteillie is where the story of the cat comes to an end. It seems, despite having his heart ripped out by the tree wizard in the previous track, A Cat’s Demise, LAUSSE’s outlook has changed. From his juxtaposing outlook on Motor City to the lighter, less sinister production from the previous track. He still raps about his dependency of alcohol yet appears more secure in himself than since the story began.
The artwork attached to the album helps build this world tremendously, the German expressionism-inspired piece builds a dark, craggy visual alongside the stunning lyrics.
LAUSSE’s ability to create, and coherently convey, an in-depth world with multifaceted characters and locations can be heard consistently throughout the album and seen within the artwork. His ability to remain consistent with themes, without veering off ending in no real substance is what makes this conceptual album so strong and impressive. This is even before considering LAUSSE’s small following and lack of backing from major music labels at the time of release.
It has been several years since LAUSSE has official released anything on Spotify, but as his following builds, and listening numbers continue to rise (as well as the public co-sign from Drake), I hope soon we will hear the next chapter of the life of the cat.
Find LAUSSE THE CAT’s full discography music at Bandcamp.