I’ve heard that Los Halos’ first effort was more in the vein of a psychedelic trip with noise rock stylings mixed in. Psychedelic this is not, but good it is… ever so good. Of the five albums I reviewed for Opus this time out, For Ramona took the cake, the ice cream, the presents, and everything else at the party.
Los Halos is a perfect name for this band as they sing about love, angels, dreams, space, and clouds. And they do it in such a way that you feel as if you’re sitting on a stump somewhere in south Texas with a group of locals at dusk singing lazily with the coyotes around a campfire. Imagine Low’s vocals married with those of Elliot Smith set against a backdrop of hazy acoustic, slightly country-tinged meanderings.
Especially notable about Los Halos’ vocals is the way they harmonize; it’s really quite delicious. Instead of using a woman’s voice to accent the man’s, Los Halos utilizes two men singing, one singing falsetto and the other in a normal range. This process works out wonderfully for Los Halos as the falsetto is fragile and perfectly offsetting.
For Ramona doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get out Los Halos’ message of beautiful lo-fi (and I mean lo-fi) pop music. However, this disc really is essential for those of you who love bands from the slowcore and dreampop genres, including Lush, Slowdive, Ride, The Catherine Wheel, Starflyer 59, and Low. Actually, it’s a worthy pick for anyone who enjoys gentle and well-crafted music that’s dramatic and free of cliché.
Written by Jeffrey Ellinger.