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Electronic/Dance - Released May 10, 2019 | Infectious Music

Expanding their scope on sophomore effort Any Random Kindness, U.K. electronic outfit Hælos took their early trip-hop revival sound and thawed the chill to reveal a lively, effervescent heart beating within. Hints of Moby's early-era house beats and the xx's atmospheric gloom remain, incorporating the spirits of Massive Attack and a little Underworld in the process (especially on "Boy/Girl"). Unlike introverted debut Full Circle, however, much of Any Random Kindness feels reinvigorated, urgent, and bursting with brightness, held together by the group's effortlessly cool veneers. Vocalists Lotti Benardout and Arthur Delaney once again trade duties, the back-and-forth interplay building tension, sensuality, and urgency while the beats and atmospherics -- courtesy of Dom Goldsmith and Daniel Vildósola -- throb and swell. Lyrically, the weight of the world, geopolitics, and uncertainty in the digital age provide moments of bittersweet uncertainty, but Hælos stay loyal to optimism and hope. Of the marquee moments, the rousing "Kyoto" stands tall. The sprawling track starts with familiar keys and a pulsing beat, hypnotizing as Benardout and Delaney layer their vocals; when the song builds to a dramatic, dancefloor-filling breakdown, Hælos throw everything they have at the finish. It's a thrill to experience and one that is challenged elsewhere by the hypnotic and luscious "Buried in the Sand," which whips up a trance-like frenzy of reverie, and "Empty Skies," a throwback to '90s soul/house sounds that stretches the lead pair's vocals. Likewise, "End of the World Party" maintains the nostalgia with a classic Lyn Collins/Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock sample, connecting dancefloors across the decades through an infectious sonic wormhole. In addition to the party-starters, uplifting moments such as "So Long, Goodbye" and "Another Universe" elevate Any Random Kindness with grace, while the bluesy, piano-bar closer "Last One Out (Turn the Lights Off)" pulls everything together with a final plea for positivity and a light in the darkness. Cerebral yet soulful, Any Random Kindness strikes an ideal balance for Hælos, a significant step forward in their evolution. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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Electronic/Dance - Released March 18, 2016 | Matador

The debut full-length from London's Haelos is an emotive journey through the planes of love, faith, and faith in love. Recalling the mood of classic '90s trip-hop and electronica with updated precision, Full Circle floods the senses with atmospheric texture and expansive soundscapes. The male-female vocal interplay of Lotti Benardout and Arthur Delaney is reminiscent of the xx, albeit much warmer, while Dom Goldsmith's production harkens back to Portishead, Massive Attack, and Moby. The cycle of love -- including the back and forth and the ups and downs -- is the common theme here, with the trio imparting a euphoric quality to it all. Full Circle begins with a sample of philosopher Alan Watts' "The Spectrum of Love" before connecting to de facto opener "Pray," both a plea and a warning to "raise your soul" and "pray you don't fall down." The quiet raves of "Pray" and "Oracle" recall Play-era Moby, with the latter combining the angelic beauty of "My Weakness" and the powerful hypnotic trance of early Dido. "Earth Not Above" merges a dramatic Massive Attack wash with a sample of James Brown's "Funky Drummer" beat, while "Dust" lays more of a Massive Attack mood onto a thumping Portishead drone. Holding strong to the album's title, Delaney sings "what goes round/comes back around" as Benardout laments "this love ain't mine." Throughout the album's journey, there is a sense of persistent desperation for love lost, but hope is restored with reminders that love comes back again (as on the title track). The moments of frustration and pain evidenced in the lyrics tend to be forgiven by the gorgeous sonics, which can be uplifting and comforting, like floating in space or on a cloud. The closing moments of the album include some ominous ones, yet even the darkest track -- the droning "Sacred" -- is a petition for love to return to the loveless. The sad, slow-burning "Cloud Nine" suffocates with a crushing sadness, comparing the dissolution of a relationship to the "heavens dissolving" and the "universe unfolding." It's a heartbreaker. Full Circle finishes with "Pale," an explosive closer that brings the emotional journey to an end with stabbing rave synths, crashing drums, siren blares, and an overall aura of doom. What began with hope and reassurance ends with darkness and uncertainty. However, despite the loss of faith and the world crashing down, the band declares "here I'm alive" and the cycle begins anew. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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Electronic/Dance - Released January 23, 2019 | Infectious Music

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 14, 2019 | Infectious Music

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Electronic/Dance - Released June 1, 2015 | Matador

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Electronic/Dance - Released October 23, 2018 | Infectious Music

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 27, 2019 | Infectious Music

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Electronic/Dance - Released December 14, 2018 | Infectious Music

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Electronic/Dance - Released May 2, 2019 | Infectious Music