halls

For Halls, the project of London based Sam Howard, music is no joke. Solemnity is his thing and, on his second album aged just 23, he’s not mucking about. Easily mistakable for a more mature artist, his choirboy falsetto has warmed to a timbre not dissimilar to Beirut’s Zach Condon, delivering a depth beyond its years.

While the atmosphere of ‘Love to Give’ is one of longing and melancholy, it steers clear of doom, thanks to a full band supporting Howard’s soaring voice and keys, particularly a bold rhythm section, let loose on the nine minute closer to fiery effect. His debut ‘Ark’ casts more funereal shadows but a welcome, cathartic heat creeps through these nine tracks and builds languorously around modern hymnals such as ‘Sanctus’ and the brighter melodies of ‘Waves’ and ‘Harmony in Blue’. There’s light and shade and nothing to laugh about.

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