This is the curious tale of the elusive feline king of Hyde Park, Leeds…
Lausse the cat’s music is a mix of intoxicating lo-fi and eccentric hip-hop which takes place through the eyes of a feline alter ego in the madness of moonlight. Much like you’d imagine a werewolf under the moon, Lausse is the feline equivalent, slinking off into the darkness.
Originally from London but living in Leeds, Lausse’s identity remains non-existent. Apart from wearing a cat mask to conceal his face when he performs, we know virtually nothing about Lausse’s facade. He’s a mystery. Inactive on social media apart from two lonely posts from 2018. Excruciatingly, it appears there’s no way to trace him. Moreover, it seems he has vanished into thin air. He’s released nothing for a few years, adding to his ghostly allure.
So, I made it my mission to delve into the surreal world of Lausse. His carefully constructed absence is addictive. As I walk through Hyde Park, the light pollution radiates an uncanny off-white glow. It engulfs the littered streets, contrasting the red lit bedroom windows of houses. I find myself scouring the walls for traces for his existence and imagine myself unknowingly walking past him.
Cut to midnight and I'm scrolling on reddit and I find myself tangled in a spider’s web of theories about his disappearance...apparently, he was said to have been writing music in Brighton. However, another rumor details him living on a farm in France. Yet, all of these whispers are so distant that not being able to put a face to his music is agonizing.
Delirious and whimsical, Lausse’s 2018 single Redstripe Rhapsody is a masterpiece. He litters his escapades with dark humor, flirtatiously revealing his morbid secrets. Lausse raps in French and English, so the intoxicating melodies that juxtapose his idiosyncratic wordplay are all the more alluring. With reference to booze bin and 24-7 sainos, he glamorizes the mundanities of every student’s existence in Hyde Park. Lausse fabricates imagery of an adventurous cat prowling through dark alleys, accompanied by dreamy soundscapes. He reminds everyone “to leave your souls at the door before entering the garden of the moon”. Lausse gloats in the inebriating moonlight and he turns these Hyde park house parties into depraved gatherings where “handbags and hearts will be searched”. Through glorifying these gatherings, he transforms them into something else entirely. Lausse implies the students inside the walls of these humble red brick houses are devoid of morals and souls, before flippantly switching back to light hearted humor.
Moreover, Lausse captivated his listeners with his album The Girl, The Cat and the Tree which was mysteriously released in 2018. Toying with the dark paths of addiction and existentialism, Lausse discusses the intricacies of his life through his fictional world - the “metropolis”. With cat-like adlibs and surreal imagery discussing his lovelife, we get a glimpse of his feline world. Particularly, Fuccboi Lullaby, where the lyrics of which almost feel like a universal experience for many a student love affair in Hyde park. He declares “You can be my mistress, I’ll be your furry assistant” which is accompanied by a melancholy violin score, fading into woozy soundscapes in motor city. In addition, despite his habit of lurking in dark corners, Lausse is a cat not short of female attention. His single Coco Channel details a tale of a Shakespearean star crossed lovers' feud, where Lausse was “temporarily domesticated by two houses”. Yet, it is in his nature to flee, so this domestication is always heartbreakingly short-lived.
I think I’ve come to the conclusion that Lausse’s non-existent identity is a blessing quite literally in disguise. The enigma of him is perfectly untouched and maybe it’s better that way. Perhaps Lausse is still slinking through backyards littered with sharded glass or living another one of his nine lives. You too, may find yourself wondering if you're walking in the same footprints as Lausse, keeping your eyes peeled for the ghostly feline…
Words: Daisy Hayward