Sam Howard is pretty fired up. Having released his ‘Fragile’ EP in early 2012 to enthusiastic praise he’s since found himself unceremoniously tagged as a ‘bedroom producer’, and he doesn’t take its associations lightly. Late nights alone on the Internet dwelling on minute moments for inspiration - that seems now to manifest almost exclusively in a Weeknd-esque stylistic malaise - is not what defines him as Halls.
“It’s stupid because it implies the Internet experience is necessary for creativity, when for me it’s just a way for my work to be released. The way I see it, there will have been so much beautiful talent out there that no-one ever heard which just died in obscurity, but the Internet can change that. You don’t have to go through the bullshit that is the music industry. I don’t think the Internet gives you a lack of perspective or insight either, though. Even ‘bedroom producers’ live in the real world.”
Well, if his LP ‘Ark’ is anything to go by, he won’t be able to enjoy the strange luxury of anonymity in an Internet age for long. By working classical elements into a pointedly deconstructed style of song-writing, ‘Ark’ shows a shift in contemporary opinion about how pop is explored within electronic music. Halls cuts an earnest figure in bypassing any limpness of feeling that comes with the ‘bedroom producer’ tag with an attention to the craft he cares deeply for.
Whilst he admits he doesn’t have “the dexterity of classical training”, this has allowed ‘Ark’ to become his own “post-teenage mark on the world” and proves that he and his contemporaries seem “more willing to appreciate pop in a way that lets it be the mainstay and experimental at the same time. It’s not all manufactured. Pop can come from a horrible place too.”
Words: Lauren Martin
Photography: Cameron Alexander
WHAT: Melancholic choral electronica
GET 3 SONGS: 'White Chalk', 'I Am Now Who You Want', 'Reverie'
UNIQUE FACT: Halls has, by his own admission, an "unmanageable cacti collection."
JACKET BY PERCIVAL, ALL OTHER CLOTHING ARTIST’S OWN