Two and a half years ago, the London-based trio HÆLOS released their debut album Full Circle. Following the buzz around their single “Dust,” the album made good on the promises of the band’s early releases. Working off a template that drew upon trip-hop and various strains of electronic music, the band crafted a dusky, moody album that aimed for catharsis from their own anxieties and self-destructive phases. It worked that way for the listener, too. Full Circle was one of those pieces of art that seemed born from the dislocation and disorientation of 21st century life, but also served as an escape from or answer to those conditions. Though HÆLOS had enough material for a sophomore effort already written, we haven’t heard much from them since.
Today, that appears to be changing: HÆLOS are back with a new single called “Buried In The Sand” and a promise of more new music to follow in 2019. The trio has now expanded to a four-piece, with original members Lotti Bernadout, Arthur Delaney, and Dom Goldsmith officially joined by their one-time touring member Daniel Vildósola. “Buried In The Sand” maintains the nocturnal textures of Full Circle, and the same subtle attention to sonic detail that made their debut so rewarding. Built on a clattering beat and ghostly vocal turns from various members, it’s also a reminder of how good this band is at depicting internal, psychological tension. Here’s what HÆLOS had to say about the new song and their approach to working on their forthcoming album:
When we came back to work on the music that would become our new album we decided to explore different ways of writing to challenge and push ourselves in a new direction. We set about trying to write one song an hour for a week and “Buried In The Sand” came from one of those jams. Dom working a beat and bassline from his modular set up and Daniel, Lotti, and Arthur jamming licks and vocals over the top. Our passion for throwing together odd genres meant we all dove deep into our record collections for inspiration which lead us to interesting places like the bluesy undertones in Arthur’s vocal. Daniel, who toured with us from the beginning, was really involved in the writing and has joined us as a full member of HÆLOS. His musicality is all over this track.
The song title was an accident and came serendipitously from the phonetics of the melody, but the rest of the lyrics were born from a strange dinner party where everyone ended up Snapchatting each other and no one was talking face to face. It perfectly summed up how jarring and unnatural our disappearance into a digital world could be. Lotti’s verses sound almost like a poem a computer would write if requested — a synthetic perfection that holds a certain tension against the emotion of the music.
“Buried In The Sand” is accompanied by a video directed by the Sacred Egg. Filmed in Kiev, it features a man flashing between listless daily routine and blurred nights out. Along the way, he notices that nobody will turn to face him, a visual thread that ties in with the band’s meaning behind the song — a kind of artificial distance from the people right around us, in clear sight. Check it out below.
11/08 – London, UK @ Laylow
01/22 – London, UK @ Electrowerkz
01/23 – Paris, FR @ Badaboum
02/21 – Berlin, DE @ Badehaus
02/22 – Brussels, BE @ The Rotonde at Botanique
02/23 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet
03/12 – 03/16 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
03/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teregram Ballroom
03/20 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
03/22 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
03/23 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
03/24 – Vancouver, BC @ Wise Hall
03/27 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
03/28 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
03/29 – Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
03/30 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
04/01 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB
04/02 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
04/05 – New York, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
04/06 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
“Buried In The Sand” is out now via Infectious.