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Wholeness & Separation

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Album Review

Capturing the drama of the emo scene, the gorgeous soundscapes of ambient, and the rousing rhythms of the club scene, Halou have fast established themselves as one of the most intriguing groups on the modern musical landscape. They have their antecedents, of course, notably the Sneaker Pimps, who also pursued a similar line of deeply atmospheric electro-fired sounds. There's also a touch of Tricky circa Maxinquaye, albeit with a cleaner production style. The dynamics of the music, meanwhile, are currently all the rage in the guitar world, favored by every emo band worth its salt. Put it all together, though, and Halou's sound is very much their own. Needless, to say, it's the tracks that rock out that immediately grab your attention, numbers like the storming "Stonefruit," where Rebecca Coseboom's wispy vocals are virtually lost among the barrage of sound. "Wholeness," in contrast, doesn't so much rock as kick and punch, its insistent rhythm twinned to guitars blown up to massive proportions. The guitars are nearly as big on "Honeythief," but here they're big and beautiful, while it's the grand dynamics that are showcased on "Everything Is OK." But Wholeness & Separation is an eclectic set — in contrast, the quirkily infectious "Tubefed" is much sparser, with the rhythm predominating and glowing guitar highlighting the mesmerizing melody. There are more experimental pieces, while others seem little more than atmospheric sketches, until they slowly solidify into more focused numbers. And while it's all highly creative, Halou wisely include enough strong melodies to carry the pop crowds along with even their most adventurous pieces. At times entrancing, effervescent, rousing, emotive, and ethereal, this trio leaps across musical boundaries with a truly transcendental album.

Customer Reviews

One of the best and most underrated!

Ive been a halou fan for quite sometime..reason being..they get more amazing with every release. I recently saw them live for my first time(2 shows) and was amazed at how well their sound translates live. This band deserves so much more attention! Their music is beautiful, haunting, a bit darker..yet you cant help but feel a sense of warmth which usually comes from Rebecca's gorgeous ethereal vocals. I put her voice up there with the likes of Liz Fraser, Kirsty Hawkshaw, etc. Also check out the R/R Coseboom stuff, which is rebecca and her husbands other project. GREAT ALBUM from start to finish!

Haute Couture Music

Halou makes sexy and chic haute couture music. The metallic sheen of the electronics contrasts nicely with the serrated fuzz guitar and the satiny orchestrations of synth and cello. The songs aren't always immediately hummable, but they are arrestingly complex. The singer, Rebecca Cosebloom, has a pure, pliable soprano that is given various sonic treatments, from static to echoes that adds texture to her vocal lines. Her singing is so precise and mannered that she can seem frostily aloof. This dramatically contrasts with her lyrics, which are surprisingly down-to-earth. Character sketches ("Everything is OK") and well-worn advice (perhaps to herself) are her major subject matter, along with clever lovesongs ("The Ratio of Freckles to Stars"). Various songs remind one of St. Etienne, Lamb, and Portishead, and yet I hesitate to call "Wholeness & Separation" trip-hop. The radiant maturity that suffused the work simply transcends genre definitions.


The best thing musically I've heard in a long time. It only took hearing one song to hook me, and now I've bought the whole Halou library.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Unlike many of the colder-sounding tunes that are prevalent in electronica music, Halou's sound is infused with plenty of emotion thanks to Rebecca Coseboom's vocals. She is a perfect foil for the compositions of her husband, Ryan Coseboom. The couple started combining their talents in Santa Cruz, CA, in 1992. They migrated several years later to San Francisco and first formed a group called Anymore. Their first recording under the name Halou, We Only Love You, was issued through Bedazzled, a label...
Full Bio
Wholeness & Separation, Halou
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Customer Ratings