30 January 2012

Halls - fragile ep (2012, The Sounds of Sweet Nothing)

I've been experienced some urgency to listen to this EP after having discovered the song "I am not who you want", mixing melancholic vocals, somewhere between the cold ethereal wave of 4AD, the reverberation of Songs of Green Pheasant, and a new wave melancholy which you could get if you were throwing Rivulets in an ocean of shoegazing or just in the middle of a Labradford record. 

The song is purely electronic but with so nicely processed that the density is both comfortable and refreshing. But mostly it sounds like a promising matrix of songwriting he could explore, expands and investigate.  It sounds both easy and subtle, both fluid and restrained.

South-London based, Halls is the solo project of Samuel Howard and "Fragile" is his third short release. It is clearly an intimate bedroom project but with enough distance between the creator and the creation, giving room for open directions and engaging developments. 

If this song is the heart of the EP, the three other tracks are forming a spiral around it. The most interesting volute is "Lifeblood", which floats as a piano exploration of a similar but more atmospheric theme, but with a less achieved balance as the electronic rhythms are finally too invasive during the second part, and it doesn't confirm the melancholic promise of the start. 

Around these two songs, two instrumentals are opening and closing the EP with a more generic impact.  "Fragile" is an interesting but uneven EP, but considering "I am not who you want", we can build hopes for progress in this direction.


Halls - I Am Not Who You Want from The Sounds Of Sweet Nothing on Vimeo.

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