HAELOS – Full Circle

For a band that started out with an accidental marketing campaign shrouded in mystery and curiosity, HAELOS have, in the past year, stripped themselves of their anonymity, signed to Matador Records and recorded their debut LP, Full Circle. 
The London-based three-piece comprise of Lotti Benardout, Arthur Delaney and Dom Goldsmith. They describe their music as ‘dark euphoria’, with influences including Massive Attack and Portishead. Between a spontaneous release of the track ‘Dust’ via Soundcloud over a year ago and the release of this eleven-track album, the band also released a four-track EP, ‘Earth Not Above’ in June 2015.

Now armed with a large catalogue of music for a relatively new band, HAELOS have a string of tour dates planned over the coming months including slots at major music festivals.
Full Circle’s short opening track, ‘Intro/Spectrum’, is an announcement of sorts, with a male conductor-like voice (similar to many tracks from Public Service Broadcasting) delivering a message on the ‘spectrum of love’.

Elements of this radio broadcast type announcement is speckled throughout the album. The intro track eases nicely into ‘Pray’ which has a catchy dance beat and fades out with the same conductor-like voice as its predecessor.  This is followed by their self-released debut single ‘Dust’. Keyboards, drums, synths and echoed harmonies feature strongly on both tracks.

HAELOS’ eerie sound and male/female harmonies from the trio are best showcased on the title track, which offers a mix of calming synth sounds and slight dance beats. Similarly, ‘Oracle’, which has a slightly heavier beat, conveys a stronger vocal from Benardout, with a very similar sound to Tracey Thorn.

Full Circle is atmospheric and uplifting. Haunting vocals, synth-pop sounds and mellow electronic beats create a feeling of calmness and tranquillity, particularly in the second half of the album.  For a debut album it provides a good insight into the band’s influences. Tracks like ‘Earth Not Above’ have a clear Jungle influence, while more mellow tracks, like ‘Alone’ and ‘Pale’, are reminiscent of The XX and Massive Attack. Overall, it’s a good go-to album for creating a chilled-out atmosphere.

 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Words by: Mairéad McGuinness (@raidysmisc)