East Coast artist LOUD HOUND delivered the authentic track “Melancholy Boy” that revealed his battles with depression and anxiety. The song was mixed by Ricky Berotti (Hoax, Future Generations) and mastered by Paul Gold (Grizzly Bear, LCD Soundsystem, Animal Collective).
Tommy Florio is from New Jersey, and he is behind the vision of LOUD HOUND. He has been releasing music under the pseudonym for the past two years while he created music at home in his little studio.
The artist revealed that music has always been in his life, but wasn’t something he originally wanted to pursue. He reminisced about a few events in his childhood when his profound passion for music began.
“My mom and I were driving home from a store, and she was playing ‘Champagne Supernova’ by Oasis. I just fell in love with music after that,” Florio said. “My uncle is a musician and has played in bands his whole life too.”
Florio’s dad also played the drums, so Florio picked up the drums and guitar when he became a teenager. He said that it wasn’t until he graduated college that he started to love recording and producing.
The Rolling Stones fan said, “Once I heard the first song I made on my own with GarageBand, I knew I had to do this all the time.”
A typical day for Florio starts around 7 a.m. He emphasized the importance of structure in his routine, especially when he was attempting to finish multiple projects.
“Normally, I would get up, make some coffee, meditate, go for a run, come home and make a salad. I would then workout and go about whatever projects I’m working on for that week,” Florio said.
He continued, “Having a disciplined morning routine makes me feel so good. It helps me a lot with mental clarity, staying focused and just being in an overall better mood.”
Unlike most singers, Florio does not follow a formula when he writes songs. He only reacts to what his instincts tell him at the moment.
“I love experimenting and trying out new sounds, but I can never almost always go into a session and force myself to create ‘a really good song.’ Those ‘really good songs’ only come to a surface based off of timing,” Florio said.
The artist prefers to have a clear head when he creates music, which he said is almost impossible.
He commented, “I firmly believe that every song has a spirit and a soul. I found that when you just let go, trust your gut and follow your instincts while creating music, you will make something special.”
Florio said that the idea of his song “Melancholy Boy” emerged when he made a “boom, clap, clap, boom, clap” drum beat on his machine. He later started recording the acoustic guitar, laid down a simple bass line and then came up with the vocal melody to the chorus.
“It’s funny. I tell people all the time that if you mute some of the tracks and play just the verse vocals, you can hear the audio playing from speakers in the background,” Florio mentioned. “The song came together so quickly. I probably finished most of it within an hour.”
The artist revealed that by the time the song was finished, it felt like a “really close friend” to him or a sibling.
“When I was recording the verses, I thought that moment was really special because they were the first take and had the most attitude,” the singer said. “Sometimes, it’s best to leave the ‘demo takes’ because you can’t really replicate what was already done, including the emotion you felt when recording them.”
There were key ideas which were inventive that worked well in “Melancholy Boy.” Some of these include his road trips with friends and cruising down a highway. In addition, he envisioned how he would perform his track in a music festival.
“The little bridge at the end was a lot of fun. I wanted to have a non-traditional part of the song — something that would really stick out and hopefully catch attention,” Florio mentioned.
The artist declared that the track is an autobiographical account and has an underlying truth to it.
“If I don’t think I’m being honest enough in a song, I won’t release it. Truth and honesty with my music means a lot to me. That’s what people connect with,” he said. “People relate to situations, environment and circumstances. When you write from a place of truth, it’s easier to connect.”
Florio revealed that he struggled with anxiety and depression. He noted that his mental health has impacted his love life, friendships and relationships with family.
“‘Melancholy Boy’ shows what I’ve felt and how I feel sometimes. I think everyone feels melancholy at times because it is a normal part of life,” the singer commented. “I think the uncertainty and confusion that comes with the feeling is relatable in comparison to a relationship. It can affect your perception on your significant other as well as your thoughts on yourself.”
Florio said that there will be many times when people feel restless — thinking that they can’t do it anymore. A person will cling on to any sense of hope or reminder that they are doing the right thing, but then something else goes wrong.
The artist, however, finished with heartwarming advice for those who are hesitant of their abilities and work, “If you love your craft, you will figure out a way to orchestrate your life so you can give yourself the amount of time and attention your craft needs. Be 100 percent unapologetically yourself.”
Contact Ron Rocky Coloma at rcoloma ‘at’ stanford.edu.