PHOTOS: HÆLOS project their vision of trip-hop futurism at The Independent


HÆLOS performs at The Independent in San Francisco on March 20, 2019. Photos: Shawn Robbins.

SAN FRANCISCO — HÆLOS brought their Any Random Kindness Tour into fruition at the Independent Wednesday with cinematic and sprawling soundscapes.

The London group is a culmination of modernistic trip-hop and lifting vocal harmonies derived from singers Arthur Delaney and Lotti Benardout. Their upcoming record, Any Random Kindness, has been teased as an embracing of love and connection in all its forms, similar to their debut album, which focused on love’s many complexities. As the band took the stage, the heavy beats and gentle build of the album’s recent single, “Kyoto” introduced a powerful message: “It’s just our hearts we’ve got to heal/ Just in our way/ Listen all will be revealed.”


Dom Goldsmith of HÆLOS performs at The Independent in San Francisco on March 20, 2019.

The set continued with “Earth Not Above,” from 2016’s Full Circle; and “Pray,” one of HÆLOS’ most sweeping cuts from their debut. New songs like “ARK” and “Boy / Girl” highlighted the band’s experimentation in house-style grooves, with their trademark darker and brooding, yet optimistic side of the trip-hop genre. HÆLOS followed with more older cuts from their debut album: “Empty Skies,” “Full Circle” and “Oracle.” But it was new single “End Of World Party” that expanded the band’s ability to manipulate infectious beats and make an actual dance track.

With an acoustic guitar and Ninja-Tune-style beat, the band played “Deep State,” from their upcoming album. The song displayed yet another side of how HÆLOS can remain true to their sound yet lock into new directions.


Arthur Delaney of HÆLOS performs at The Independent in San Francisco on March 20, 2019.

Departing from that Portishead-style darkness and entering with a more dancey vibe, the band played “Buried In The Sand,” a song that tested Lotti Benardout’s vocal range. She delivered with elegant strength and vulnerable demeanor. Full Circle single “Pray” was the sole encore song and was a welcome end to a very impressive live performance.

San Francisco natives Yassou opened the show with a similar style of smooth trip-hop and art-pop experimental sounds. The centerpiece of the band was singer Lilie Hoy, who swayed and thrashed like a young Patti Smith on songs like “To Sink,” from 2105’s VIDEO EP and “The Cloisters,” off 2013 EP In Fits In Dreams.

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  1. Pingback: HÆLOS hypnotise with trip-hop magic in San Francisco | REVIEW - RIFF | San Francisco Informer

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