Since HÆLOS’ trip-hop infused debut LP ‘Full Circle’ they’ve gained a new member – guitarist Daniel Vildósola – and this new record reflects that growth. The group’s sound has bloomed, drawing on a richer sonic pool to inject more texture and colour into their atmospheric soundscapes.
Take the revelry of ‘Empty Skies’, for example, the urgency of Lotti Benardout’s vocal matched by the track’s beat; a euphoric, soaring experience. There’s the jolting beat of ‘Buried In The Sand’, glitchy electronica of ‘Kyoto’ and unexpected ‘Ark’ – building to an uncanny crescendo, robotic bleeps crashing against band-led instrumentation.
‘Deep State’ sees more growth, Arthur Delaney’s vocal leading alongside plucked strings, a shuddering, organic sample – hollow wood, maybe, or the ticking of an old grandfather clock.
‘So Long, Goodbye’ ebbs and flows, falling away to give Benardout’s voice room to breathe, expanding into a new gospel-like richness.
Delaney’s vocal takes centre stage on ‘Last One Out’, while synths glow quietly in the background, speaking to the anxieties threading through this album: technology, climate change, what modernity does to human relationships.
But through seeking comfort in the analogue, HÆLOS are breaking rich, new ground.
Dig it? Dig deeper: Massive Attack, Portishead, Young Fathers
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