On her new album Dust, US musician Laurel Halo twists the expectations of what singing can be. An audio-fictional reflection on the song «Like an L», in which the buoyant voices create a state where words are opened by alternative terrains of sense.
Laurel Halo always had an idiosyncratic take on what a song can be. On «Like an L», a track from her new album Dust (Hyperdub), she is treating the voice outside of its usual genre-bound constraints. A blurred chorus floating over a cool abstract texture announces: «A body shaped like an L». The harmonized voices spread through the field of sound in a tranquil swarm, intoning a loose but punctuated rhythm. As if daydreamed, thoughts begin to drift away from reasoned linearity where objectives grow obscure and ambiguity becomes an invitation to wonder.
The cut-up technique used to (dis)organize the lyrics magnifies the reverie-like quality of the song. These dadaist non sequiturs serve to reinforce the feeling of pensive digression, such that the secret affinities of words are opened by alternative terrains of sense. In an auditory mirroring of the buoyant, psychedelic adjacencies of the lyrics, the voices are wrapped in echoes that subtly morph throughout the track, sometimes decaying and falling in pitch. To follow the chorus in its flight is to daydream along with Laurel Halo. And yet, as the song closes, there will always be more fantasma, «blossoms that stay in your eyes, after you look away».
Laurel Halo – Dust