QuarantineAlbum | Laurel Halo By Jim Allen
Intoxicating electro-psych debut album
If you tossed Animal Collective at their most ethereal into a blender with Grimes, filtered out the latter's dance beats, and added a dash of Julianna Barwick's ambient vocal experiments...well, you still wouldn't quite arrive at the rarefied sonic area occupied by Laurel Halo's Quarantine, but at least you'd be in the ballpark. This one-woman Brooklyn-via-Michigan band also operates under the King Felix moniker, but Quarantine is the first official Laurel Halo full-length, and it's a dreamy, occasionally disorienting affair - definitely not recommended listening while operating heavy machinery. Layers of swirling, lighter-than-air vocals rise up from evanescent electro-psych settings that are just ambient enough to achieve liftoff, but still offer enough of a visceral experience to keep you off-balance wondering what's coming next. The masterful manipulation of electronic textures and vocal lines works a little like an abstract painting, but the effect Quarantine ultimately achieves is more Basquiat than Pollock - for all their immediate textural appeal, the overlapping elements here seem more like the spontaneously scattered pages of a story book than the shards of a shattered dream.
|Laurel Halo: Critical Connections|