Laurel Halo’s confidence in her beat making ability has only grown in the year that’s passed since the release of her full-length debut, Quarantine. Her latest short and sweet EP, Behind The Green Door, displays Halo’s versatility, taking a left turn from the sounds explored on her full-length. Suprisingly, Halo’s new record doesn’t contain any of the fluttering vocals to which we’ve become accustomed. Instead, we are hit by more dance-club ready tunes. It’s as if Halo has stumbled onto a time machine and launched herself back a few years, because the sound is oddly familiar to her 2010 EP Hour Logic.
The opening song, “Throw” fades in with crisp but ominous piano chords, as if Halo knows something bad is about to happen. Just as the tension in the song reaches its tipping point, she slows it down with a constant pitter pat on the drums, only to smoothly reintroduce the piano near the end. By the time it was over, and that tingling feeling slowly left my body, I realized that there was no drop. It was like taking a steady climb to the top of a mountain, only to be left there with no path back to the base camp.
From there Halo transitions into the actual club banger off the EP. “UHFFO” is the only song off this album that I can picture people bouncing around and fist pumping too at a hot and crowded party. With a roaring bass and warbling synths that integrate wonderfully, this is the album’s best track. The anxious feelings that “Throw” brought on have vanished. The most intriguing track, in terms of sound and name, comes in the form of the last song, “Sex Mission.” It starts off with a heavy bass—imagine Rick Ross, Notorious B.I.G. and Fat Joe sitting on an elephant—yeah, that heavy. It’s a mix between dubstep and techno, something that Halo is becoming known for, and as the song builds the constant booming bass is joined by a couple snares and an incomprehensible voice that will sear into your memory for the rest of the day. Similar to “Throw,” it builds up til the very end, creating an anxious waiting for the drop. Just as you’re about to give up hope, Laurel Halo hits you with a subtle drop that closes off the song and the EP in a satisfying and fittingly sexual way, given the porn flick with which the EP shares its title.
Behind The Green Door is a testament that Halo means business. She can clearly produce songs like “Years,” off Quarantine that blur the line between pop and experimental and that showcase her unique vocal ability. And, she can obviously produce club sounding records that can get the most passive person off their feet. Without sticking to one genre, Halo has opened up a world of opportunities for herself. This EP, while a little inconsistent with the “usual” sound that a club record should have, speaks volumes of the deftness that Halo possesses.