Live Review: HÆLOS with NAVVI at Sunset Tavern 1/27

Live Reviews
Jim Beckmann
all photos by Dave Lichterman (view set)

You'll wish you could say you were there. It was just one of those shows that all in attendance knew they were blessed by some kind of angelic beings to attend, as HÆLOS played for a respectably sized, though not packed, crowd at The Sunset Tavern last week. The UK trio decided to advance their forthcoming debut, Full Circle (due March 18 on Matador), by gracing select cities with intimate shows. Fortunately for us, Seattle was one of the chosen ones, and HÆLOS performed, live as a six-piece, a dazzling set featuring eight songs from the LP (two of which also appear on the already available 4-song Earth Not Above EP), plus a cover of 1989 UK hit "The Sun Rising". That their version of The Beloved's songs is so spot-on is telling of their sound. HÆLOS draw heavily from late 80's and early 90's post-new wave dance music, even touching upon trip-hop, with their atmospheric slow groove and truly celestial vocals from all three members - Lotti Benardout, Arthur Delaney and Dom Goldsmith. Though Goldsmith was armed with a battery of live and programmed electronics, it took the additional two percussionists and guitar player to fully realize their sound. And live, it sounds perfect, glorious even. We all knew, while watching and hearing HÆLOS live, that the next time we saw them would be on a much larger stage, surrounded by many more believers. How to open a set like that? Get local electronic duo NAVVI, whose dark, 80s-tinged synth-pop is the perfect antecedent. Though perhaps a bit less apt to soar in the ether, Kristin Henry and Brad Boettger share with HÆLOS a penchant for atmospheric, downtempo electronica, and Henry's voice has its own angelic qualities. You could almost say it's a match made in heaven.

But you don't need to wait for the Rapture to see either band perform in Seattle again. NAVVI plays this Sunday, February 7th, at the High Dive, and HÆLOS promise to return to Seattle within the next few months. Stay tuned to the KEXP blog to find videos of their recent session, recorded live in our studio.



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