Readers of TMT: it behooves you to jump on the Laurel Halo bandwagon now, because a year from now, after everyone’s compiled their end-of-the-year lists for 2012, you’re bound to feel a bit like I did listening to James Blake (TMT Review) for the first time this past January — which is to say, woefully disconnected from the buzz-worthy chatter surrounding up-and-coming electronic (kind of) pop (sort of) artists. For the record, I was tremendously disappointed by that James Blake LP, which I suppose is commentary enough on my own mental irregularities, but I doubt that I’m alone in thinking/saying that Laurel Halo has a serious future doing what she’s doing — namely, reminding me, as I close my eyes and drift away into a vocal-induced fantasy, of Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser, though with more intelligibility. If the musical similarities between Halo and Fraser extended beyond their respective singing styles, I might question the former’s choice of record label, but as of now, it’s completely appropriate that Halo’s signed with Hyperdub and has plans to release her debut album Quarantine on June 5 in the US, and on May 28 in Europe.
You need only look to labelmates King Midas Sound and Darkstar to get an immediate sense of how Halo’s music fits in. The incorporation of original vocals alongside a backdrop of contemporary electronic yet genre-defying melodies is at the forefront of Quarantine, as a press release notes: “This is an album of transporting songs, various altitude shifts via effecting pop-concrete, built on a rich synthesis of intuitive but exacting electronic abstraction, bass pulse and heartfelt songwriting.” I’ve been horribly wrong before, but I’d definitely make of note of this album for future acquisition. Pay for it, you bastards.
Likewise, it’s also worth noting that, under the moniker King Felix, Laurel Halo will also be releasing her Spring EP sometime… soon? Originally set to be released on March 19, the EP has been pushed back to an unspecified date.
05. MK Ultra
12. Light + Space
[Photo: Salad Fork]