ALBUM REVIEW: LAUREL HALO – POSSESSED (SOUNDTRACK)



Laurel Halo’s debut film score will get an official release, dropping Friday 10th April. The Detroit born experimental electronic producer and DJ, can now add film score composer to the list.

Possessed is a collection of her work for ‘Possessed’. A film inspired by a 2018 essay of the same name by Metahaven and Rob Schroder, and produced by Dutch Mountain Film. 

As a work made to have a visual accompaniment soundtracks can be a bit of a miss when it comes to the music it alone. With only the true greats able to pull off having their music stand up on its own.

Using live instruments and electronics Lauren has managed to cover a huge range of musical tastes. The eerie and uncomfortable opener ‘Hyphae ‘with its distorted noises and diminished piano chords is in contrast to the sublime ‘Rome Theme I’ which is hauntingly beautiful. Think a devastating war scene or loss of a loved one. The strings sound mournful and are excellently played by Galya Bisengalieva on violin and Oliver Coates on cello. There are three Rome Themes each with the roman numerals I II and III on this album and all three are standout tracks.

Tracks in between like ‘Breath’ and ‘Lead’ and ‘Marbles’ are purely atmospheric pieces. ‘Lead’ in particular sounding like a slowdown rave with industrial noises. The strings are back for ‘Cave Walk’ Sweeping long held notes evoking waves on a shore.

The only complaint I have in regards to this album comes with Stabat Mater (excerpt) with its plodding piano makes you sit back and listen but its just not long enough before the last track (on digital relaese. Vinyl relase has a 13th track leaving off the reprise of ‘Last Seen’), ‘Masks’ closes the album with its atmospheric industrial feel a kin to the opener.

If you can get through the atmospheric pieces this album really shows off Laurel’s talent as a composer. Tracks like Rome Theme I and Stabat Mater are brilliant and worth the album on their own. I hope the future finds her with another film score to compose.

Check out opener Hyphae, here.

Pick the album released by The Vinyl Factory at all good streaming sites or in physical form at your local seller of records.

Or alternatively via Laurels Bandcamp:

https://laurelhalo.bandcamp.com/album/possessed

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