In the space of 12 months HÆLOS have gone from near unknowns to signing a deal with Matador Records, and digging out their passports for a North American jaunt.
The band breezed into Austin, Texas at the weekend, hitting up Clash for a very special appearance at our SXSW party.
Fusing ethereal songwriting with wonderfully engrossing electronics, their evocative performance at the British Music Embassy ranks as one of our highlights of the entire event.
Expect to hear plenty more from HÆLOS in 2016 - but first, check out their Influences.
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Talk Talk - 'Desire'
This is off one of our favourite records 'Spirit Of Eden'. It's one of those legendary albums that we love to revisit. The thing that's special about 'Desire' is the way it explores dynamic and tension. It draws into focus and builds around a searching piano / guitar riff, religious organs pulling you to the crescendo which is so loud that unless you're in the mood you have to turn it down. Mark Hollis' fragile searching vocal swings between empowered and desperate. It's a beautiful track rich in imagery and drama.
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A Tribe Called Quest - 'Electric Relaxation'
We love the way that hip-hop uses sampling like a collage, bringing the feel and the sound of the rooms of old soul drum breaks and giving them new life and context. We kept going back to the classic breaks from the golden age of hip-hop for the drum programming on 'Full Circle' and this gives the record it's connection to the past. This track from A Tribe Called Quest has got that nostalgic vinyl soaked sound that we love and it's a classic that we keep coming back to.
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Bjork - 'Jóga'
Bjork is one of our favourite female artists. There's a braveness to her work visually and musically that makes her timelessly relevant. Yoga is one of our favourite. The fusion of classical and electronic styles is incredibly cinematic while still being evocative. Lyrically she's also a big influence, perfectly matching a fragile sentiment over a huge volcanic soundscape. The video is the perfect homage to the track, suitably epic.
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Fold - 'Calmer Mood'
Taken from his 'Netflix And Chill' EP, we're really into the way 90BPM peeps its head through just before the break, almost giving the track a bipolar feel until it drops satisfyingly back into house territory. There is a dusty feel to the sample selection for the drums and the compression is wicked. Again it's got that nod to hip-hop production values which we are drawn towards and really inspired by. It's the feel.
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Radiohead - 'Pyramid Song'
Radiohead are a big influence on us. We really respect the way they push their music to its limits and remain one of the important bands of our generation. Pyramid song is just one many we could have picked. The lyrics are vivid from the opening line "Jumped in the water what did I see? / Black eyed angels swim with me" and show Thom York at his visionary finest, he's like a weird angel singing from beyond.
The poetry of the lyrics, the richness of the sounds, the off-kilter time signature, and the woozy 60s strings combine into a transportive and emotional experience, something we are always searching for in our own music.
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Catch HÆLOS online HERE.