A sound that borders on trip-hop here from Haelos, a London group making their debut with Earth Not Above. They have a good ear for texture, warm synths filling the background while dusty breaks clatter around at the front. Two (or three?) part vocal harmonies carry the urban narratives of the tracks along. 12” on Matador.
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- Earth Not Above EP by Haelos
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The label says 33rpm but they are wrong - it’s 45rpm - so please do not be fooled. This London electronic pop outfit have signed to Matador which is a rather unusual coupling but they have released Darkside and stuff so maybe it makes some kind of sense.
It’s sad though to see Matador not signing the next Yo La Tengo or Sleater Kinney and instead concentrating on the kind of darkly cinematic dance-pop that is everywhere at the moment. Opener ‘Earth Not Above’ is a slice of scrubbed pop music that has a gospel-inspired outro where the word ‘healing' is used. Uplifting. As it draws to a close I imagine the new VW Passatt crunching into a driveway, keys thrown on the table next to a door of a country house and... cue mystery.
‘Cloud Nine’ and ‘Breathe’ both sound like they’ve been listening to the XX. They have that same soulful low key vibe but these lot are always waiting for the next yearning chorus. Overall it sits somewhere between the XX, Florence and the Machine and Faithless. And that’s a place I never want to be.
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