Review: Lukas Freeman’s Debut ‘RoughLove’ EP Is More Than New Age Trip-Hop

London’s Lukas Freeman recently dropped his debut EP, ‘RoughLove,’ an amalgamation of the intricacies of hip-hop rhythms combined with punctuations of exciting electronic guitar riffs, none so more apparent than on lead track, “Loving You Wrong.” The result is one which could be described as new-age trip-hop, but to simply box it as that would belie the soul and pop elements that give it a textured, warm and all encompassing character.

The self-produced 4-track EP shows off his vocal capabilities that are, at times, haunting, often welcoming, and always rich in emotion. Lyrically, the songs that span RoughLove display a vividness that bring them to life. Scenes of trysts on “White Knickers” and a good girl’s penchant for a “Wasteman,” at least for one night, are not just songs, but stories that will be instantly relatable to many in an apathetic age where relationships have given way for numerous flings.

Set against the backdrop of the London house party scene, the aforementioned “White Knickers,” in particular, evokes memories of Frank Ocean’s heroine, “Cleopatra,” in the first half of his masterpiece. Ocean fixes her hair and puts her panties on in the mirror, while Freeman is told to leave them on the floor, along with the rest of her clothes.

A talented producer, singer, and songwriter, Freeman’s songs change in tone and shifts in emotion through piercing electronics. He very well may become the new voice of a largely under-represented group of people through music.