HIPPOS IN TANKS (H I T 006, 12” + digital)
I’m trying to find references with which to support a reflection on the musical creation of Laurel Halo and I can’t. Better said: I can, but I don’t find them completely valid, because they’re so obvious. And the music made by Laurel –who was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is at present a Brooklyn resident and close to the extravagant retro-futurist circle of friends of Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never)– is anything but obvious. It overlaps with several genres we know well by now, like dream-pop, but what she does isn’t anything like a reinterpretation of bands like His Name Is Alive. Neither is she another hypnagogia pop affiliate, nor a new age warrior. She doesn’t want her music to be danceable, but curiously there is a bit of all the above in her songs, sometimes in a cocktail of emotional abduction that is hard to unravel. On “Supersymmetry” there’s a beat that could have been from a Shannon or Sinitta song, but with layers and layers of ambient and ethereal voices alluding to the rich disco tradition of downtown New York, only with synthetic harps in stead of funk ecstasy. On the following “Metal Confection” Laurel Halo turns into an AOR diva drowned in luminous synthesisers, the same ones that adorn a folk-song construction on “Embassy”, a kind of Joanna Newsom goes bliss reproduced –albeit a tad more new age– on “Coriolis”. Is there anyone who makes music like this right now without making it sound kitschy? I can only think of Glasser, although Glasser doesn’t have the mystery and simple presence of this Laurel, who can hardly be compared to anyone –not to Liz Fraser nor Enya, because deep down she is closer to Nite Jewel. “King Felix EP” appeared as a free download last summer and is now released on vinyl, with a bonus: an immersive remix, a trickle of deep and submarine ambient, by Oneohtrix Point Never. Now, where’s that album?
METAL CONFECTION - KING FELIX EP - 2010 by LAUREL HALO