HÆLOS, “Full Circle”
One of the inherent difficulties of writing electronic-based music is adequately conveying the emotion that inspired it. That’s clearly something London trio HÆLOS thought about when crafting their debut album, because while it’s awash with the coldness of synthetic beats, it also swells with dark feelings. From the moment “Earth Not Above” begins, for instance, it strives to reach a euphoric zenith but is tempered by the graceful sadness of Lotti Benardout’s soft, soulful vocals. Her voice is certainly a focal point on this record’s eleven songs—the way it soars on “Pray,” the way it pleads on “Cloud Nine”—but it’s the music, too, that lends the album the gravitas it needs, often by twisting and turning in ways you least expect. And while the jittery crescendo of “Separate Lives” and the pulsating repetition of “Sacred” lose traction by trying too hard, this is nevertheless an intriguing, unpredictable debut.