Laurel Halo


Hotly anticipated by many, “Quarantine” is Laurel Halo’s debut full-length and first outing for the Hyperdub label, following on the heels of well-received EPs for Hippos in Tanks and collaborations with the likes of James Ferraro and Oneohtrix Point Never. It’s an ambitious recording that weds highly detailed synth design to futurist pop sensibilities- an auspicious project indeed. Ultimately, however, I found myself intrigued by the premise of the album and the music itself but left cold by Halo’s largely unadorned vocals, which unfortunately come across as flat and almost pedestrian alongside the surreal and often quite beautiful productions. Unsurprisingly then, my favorite tracks are ones like “Joy,” “Wow” and “Holoday,” where the vocals take a backseat to Halo’s dystopian dreamscapes, instrumental tracks that truly stand on their own merits. Minor gripes aside, “Quarantine” proves to be a solid debut for Halo and an interesting move for the ever-evolving Hyperdub label.  - Alex Cobb

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