Sébastien’s cooed Sexuality come-on “Look” has its pulse pulled down and coated in airy drips of synths and keys by Brooklyn-via-Ann Arbor keyboard/vocal aesthete Laurel Halo, she of the deeply promising King Felix EP and an artist you ought to take time to acquaint yourself with. On Monday night I saw Laurel anchor a bill curated by a company called Vibes, and true to that their name the night’s bill was heavy on sensory-cushioning ambient instrumental performances, including solo sets from members of Outsiders faves Emeralds (keyboards and effects by Steve Hauschildt, and a transportive, aurally alchemical guitar workout by Mark McGuire, whose Living With Yourself is now in Heavy Rotation).
Halo came last, and alone, performing her cosmic, melodic electronic pop music. Certain songs make vast statements. “Supersymmetry,” a club track for ears craving unexpected chordal contours and off-path harmonies, fakes its ending before boomeranging back in more banging, straight-lined synth-pop shimmer form; “Metal Confection” an earworm of an astral ballad, is chilly and luminous in its keyboard tones and refrain, its volume swells and melodic intervals. The songs are meticulously constructed, the result of clear thought, attention and intention, but at its best Laurel’s work is both emotionally engaged and compositionally creative, skewed and inventive but instantly appealing. A bunch of her stuffs, including that remix of Tellier’s “Look,” her EP and various other remixes are here:
You can download the entire King Felix EP for free now (via laurelhalo.com). A remastered version is due 11/29 via Hippos In Tanks (with a limited run of 500 vinyl also available), stacked with a remix from Oneohtrix Point Never. A new EP is due early next year on Hippos, followed by a string of 7″s. (She’s put out three EPs between 2006-2009, which I’m sure you can find if you dig enough.) This interview with Fact is illuminating.
Here are some “Look” videos, one for the original:
And one for Laurel’s remix by Josef Kraska, who also gets credit for the above press photo and apparently most of Laurel’s visual aesthetic:
Maybe you want to hear her remix of How To Dress Well’s “Ready For The World,” too.