In this day and age, the internet is ubiquitous. Some time has passed since it was first developed, and because of this, its convenience often goes unappreciated. To put things into perspective, I am living in Virginia, writing an article for a Canadian publication, about a Dublin-based songwriter. The mere thought of these connections leave my head spinning. What I’ve really come to realize, though, is how much the internet has propelled music journalism—amongst other things—to new heights; everything is accessible at the click of a mouse. Music can now be heard and felt worlds over, which is really special when you come to think of it. With that being said, there’s certainly no absence of useless, saturated shit floating around the web.
For Dublin-based songwriter, Henry Ernest, this is anything but the case. Under the alias Dr. Duloc, Ernest writes and records jangly bedroom-pop ballads akin to Alex G. On this, his debut offering, Ernest marries love-drunk lyrics with jangly guitar riffs to create an intimate and slightly absurd rock ditty. His unorthodox approach to songwriting is refreshing to say the least, but it’s his recording process that really gives this song an authentic feeling. From the wild vocals to the frantic instrumentation, “Lady Lou” brings new meaning to the word “catchy.” It struck a chord with me, as it may with you.
Indie Current: To start off, tell us a bit about yourself? How did you start making music?
Henry Ernest: Well, I’ve been writing songs ever since I could play an instrument, but it was during my exile in France when my friend Stephen Sorensen (who has been at the same game for too long), urged me to get on board with home-recording. And so I did. For the most part, it was awful, but the songs kept coming and here I am.
IC: Have you always been recording under Dr. Duloc? I know that you also play in Mr. Rosso. What made you want to venture out as a solo artist?
HE: I’ve always been recording my own songs but the Duloc guise is a new thing. I made an EP about a year ago under Just Henry to stop people from getting confused, but that name obviously had to go. It was really fun but probably not a representation of anything I would like my music to actually be. Right around that time, all my musical projects collapsed completely organically and I was free to do my own thing and Mr. Rosso of course.
IC: Has working solo, instead of working with someone else, changed your motivation and momentum? Did all this come naturally?
HE: The difference isn’t that big really. The only side-project that actually counts as proper “work” is Mr. Rosso—and that was just my friend and I. The recording of it was pretty much as intimate as it is when I’m riding solo. So yeah, there was never a decision of even going solo, it’s more just a continuation of making music. The only difference is time. I recorded one song a week to get Bowl Cuts done, instead of trying to compress it into 3 days like with Mr. Rosso, which was crazy anyways.
IC: What influenced the making of these songs? Any certain topic or life event that you want to convey with this new record?
HE: I guess a lot of my songs are very story-based. But the main focus is not the plot itself; rather, the feeling/sentiment behind it, which I’m trying to convey through the form of a story. If that makes any sense?
IC: Bowl Cuts has a dark, wonky and even groovy feeling to it. It reminds me a bit of Alex G and Coma Cinema. Is that the type of sound you were after?
HE: Yeah definitely! Alex G has had an especially huge influence on my music, so much so that he 100% has grounds to take me to court about some of the songs on this album. However, I try to kind of juxtapose the more obvious influences in songs with really tasteless things that a respectful artist like Alex G, for example, would never do. That’s why half the songs have one type of vibe, and the other half are completely different.
IC: How has Dublin influenced your music? What’s the current music scene like?
HE: The music scene here is very bad. Dublin really hasn’t influenced the music at all. It’s a pretty dead place if you’re not into the Arctic Monkeys.
IC: Do you think being from Dublin makes you want to prove to people from other parts that there’s something interesting going on in your hometown?
HE: Well, I wish that was the case. I can see that in places like America the geographical aspect of it plays a huge part in the identity of the bands, but Dublin is really nothing like that. It’s too small and there is no prevailing scene to connect anybody with each other. Maybe that will change. I know we got people like Callum from Little L Records running around, trying to connect the dots, but it’s a really weird situation. Just the other day actually, it took a friend from New York to point out that I was living like 20 minutes away from someone who is probably the only other guy in Ireland also making “bedroom-pop.” (Shoutout to Handsome Eric!) It’s bizarre. Hopefully this place will get cooler.
IC: Lastly, what do you want people to think when they listen to the new record? What message, if any, are you trying to convey with Bowl Cuts?
HE: Forgive and Forget. Time is a miracle. Thank you for helping me fly.