Laurel Halo: Hour Logic (Hippos In Tanks)
This is an odd set of tracks from Ms. Halo that shows off some strong ingenuity. If King Felix, her previous EP debut, was a foray into 80s synth-pop revival (à la Games/Ford & Lopatin) with a touch of Laurie Anderson, Hour Logic is leaps and bounds more unique and more interesting. Hour Logic focuses on shaping the sound itself rather than vocal songs, as Laurel doesn’t sing on most of these tracks at all. There’s a grand scale to these pieces that makes them almost overwhelming; they’re bursting with energy and ideas, and it’s completely refreshing. She appears to have used her last EP and guest vocal spots as a launching off point to dive into something far more original and less trendy. The sprawl of some of these tracks feels ambitious and heady, but even as they deviate from the pop arena almost completely, this is not inaccessible music. Even at its strangest, there’s something surprisingly easy about this listening, even as it challenges expectations and blurs boundaries. Very highly recommended listening.