Laurel Halo
Raw Silk Uncut Wood


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chortles USER (17 Reviews)
July 16th, 2018 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Formless coherence

If there is any one thing to signal the divisive nature of Laurel Halo’s music, it may just be the dogged aimlessness that encapsulates so much of her work. We can see it clearly in last year’s Dust, which unfolded like a vast canvas of spattered vignettes, connected only loosely by vague, stretched throughlines; and even when grounded in a premise unmistakably rhythmic (a la the blistering Chance of Rain), it seems like she is equally bound to that feeling – to a host of drifting ideas and disconnected thoughts, separating purpose from overarching structure and leaving us suspended in between. Halo’s newest collaboration stands out among the catalogue not because of its stylistic leaps (this game of hopscotch between styles is par for the course for her at this point), no – Raw Silk Uncut Wood baffles because it affirms and refutes these defining traits in a way that is subversive and invigorating, but most importantly, wholly befitting of our darling Halo, ever-refusing to be relegated to any one singular brand.

This is all drawn around Raw Silk’s bookends, a pair of lengthy, emotive ambient compositions locked in a warring state of boundless growth and imperceptible decay. They’re lost in a way which feels only feigned, they wander into and out of straight lines and sway with a knowing grace. They’re truly bemusing pieces, and the interludes which separate them personify this feeling by calling our attention to their hidden edges, to mirror these harmonious wonders at their most unresolved and discordant. It’s quite a fitting duality to the approachability – the word that closing piece “Nahbarkeit” directly translates to in English – of Laurel Halo’s work on the whole. Raw Silk Uncut Wood certainly is approachable, particularly by her standards, and it is just gorgeous in its best moments – but not only in the elusive sense we might have come to expect from her. There is a bit of that creeping in, in the skittered experiments which we find caught in the middle – but what’s more special this time around is what we see so directly, the transient moments when Halo’s purpose and sensibilities seem closer to grasp than ever before; and for an artist constantly toying with expectations and never clearing a direct path, there’s something beautiful in that conceit.



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user ratings (42)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Chortles
July 16th 2018


21242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

review summary draft #1: "not resting on her laurels"

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Strata

Frivolous
July 16th 2018


816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice

rabidfish
July 16th 2018


3875 Comments


i'm going to give myself one last chance wit tis gyal... hope this one clicks cuz her other stuff is a snoozfest imo.

Digging: Black Murder - Feasts

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2018


17666 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

woah

Digging: Animal Collective - Tangerine Reef

Chortles
July 16th 2018


21242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

kinda doubt this would be the one to change yr mind but hey why not it's pretty short

brainmelter
July 16th 2018


5676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hey I didn't even know this was out

pos'd

Digging: Banana Head - Phones the Public

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2018


23435 Comments


love u and love this short sweet rev. sooo descriptive and u nail the flow of those longgggg sentences. ez pos and grats on the feat!

Winesburgohio
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2018


2264 Comments


Gorgeous, gorgeous writing; unconvinced by some of the claims but Halo is as you say a hard nut to crack, let alone review

Digging: Taku Unami, Moe Kamura & Tetuzi Akiyama - Konata Kanata

MotokoKusanagi
July 17th 2018


1507 Comments


o shit i had no clue this was coming out. brb

Digging: Blawan - Wet Will Always Dry

Gyromania
July 17th 2018


25507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Where are the vocals wtf

Chortles
July 17th 2018


21242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks very much guys (thanks mods for the feature also). would be interested in your thoughts on this winesy



sounds like u need to check your expectations gyro. a lot of her stuff does not have vocals

Dewinged
July 17th 2018


10855 Comments


A Chortles review! Nice write-up man, I enjoyed her last album, so will peep this one.

Digging: Tomberlin - At Weddings

Coldday
July 17th 2018


29 Comments


very interesting music. Interesting asthetic. Cover fits here as well

Well written review as well !

Lucid
July 17th 2018


9902 Comments


nice work chortles. the "dogged aimlessness" you pinpoint is why I have a love/hate relationship with her material. enjoyed this release although it seems like it's held up by the bookends. middle section does little for me

Chortles
July 17th 2018


21242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks guys. i think i felt similarly about the middle until i started embracing what i mention in the review, it's a sort of uncomfortable refrain from the stretching sounds of those longer tracks for me. an opposite kind of breathing room

AsleepInTheBack
July 17th 2018


5855 Comments


great review, encapsulates nicely what makes her music so interesting

Chortles
July 17th 2018


21242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cheers friend!

MaskAtTheMasquerade
July 17th 2018


2911 Comments


yeah good read here! just gave this a full spin through today, very subdued compared to her other work but i dig it. should be good evening hours listening

oltnabrick
July 17th 2018


35921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i think about this album a lot now

Digging: Cerebral Rot - Cessation of Life

Toad
July 17th 2018


1970 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very nice record. Nice review as well, though I would never, ever describe halos work as aimless...seems intricately structured and aggressive yet playful to me, almost at all times



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