Laurel Halo

Atlas (Awe)

Contact Ahmad Asani about Laurel Halo

Today, Laurel Halo — the acclaimed American composer, producer, musician and DJ — announces her new album, Atlas, out September 22nd on her new imprint Awe, and presents its lead single “Belleville.” Atlas marks Halo’s first full-length album since 2018’s Raw Silk Uncut Wood, which was preceded by her highly acclaimed album Dust and followed by her contribution to !K7’s iconic DJ-Kicks mix series in 2019.


Atlas is the product of a few years’ research into electroacoustic sound design and piano practice. The process of writing Atlas began back in 2020 when Halo reacquainted herself with the piano, writing and recording various sketches and improvisations. In 2021, the legendary Ina-GRM Studios in Paris invited her to take up a residency, during which she dubbed, stretched and manipulated some of these simple sketches she’d recorded over the prior months. In the remainder of 2021 and 2022, with time spent between Berlin and London, Halo recorded additional guitar, violin and vibraphone, as well as acoustic instrumentation from friends and collaborators including saxophonist Bendik Giske, violinist James Underwood, cellist Lucy Railton and vocalist Coby Sey. Using both electronic and acoustic instrumentation, Halo has created a potent set of sensual ambient jazz collages, comprised of orchestral clouds, shades of modal harmony, hidden sonic details, and detuned, hallucinatory textures. The music functions as a series of maps, for places real and imaginary, and for expressing the unsaid.


“Belleville” is a disarming piano ballad, recorded in one take during Halo’s Paris residency in the spring of 2021. It’s embellished with undertows of processed vibraphone, as well as a sudden, gorgeous stack of vocal harmonies featuring Sey.


Atlas is the debut release on Halo’s own imprint, Awe, which follows after two and a half years hosting the Awe monthly radio show on NTS. The label and radio show’s slogan parallels the mood and atmosphere of the album: Awe is something you feel when confronted with forces beyond your control: nature, the cosmos, chaos, human error, hallucinations.


Drawing from a range of musical traditions, Laurel Halo’s output is singular yet stylistically diverse, with releases traversing ambient, leftfield club, experimental pop and film score. Her wide spanning back catalog traces through prestigious labels such as Latency, Livity Sound, Honest Jon’s and Hyperdub where she has released a series of acclaimed albums and EPs. She has also performed in some of the most prestigious venues across the world such as London’s Southbank Centre, Sydney Opera House, Kölner Philharmonie, CTM/Transmediale, Sónar, and Montreux Jazz Festival, among others. Not to mention her collaborations with musicians, artists and fashion designers including Moritz von Oswald, Metahaven, Kevin Beasley, Julia Holter, Hanne Lippard, Eckhaus Latta, Martine Syms, John Cale, and the London Contemporary Orchestra.


Halo will premiere the Atlas live show in Berlin and play select shows around the EU / UK this summer before a run of US dates this fall. A full list of live tour dates and upcoming DJ sets can be found below.