Beauty comes in an array of shapes and sizes in all walks of life, especially so in music. Laurel Halo is one such winsome songstress whose songs have a charm that is all but stereotypical. Her music boasts a delicacy that seems contradictory to her choice of expressive content and this is encapsulated in the aptly chosen title of her debut LP, Quarantine.

Halo's previous offering, Hour Logic EP, was released a year ago and those hoping for something similar may be slightly shocked to find Halo's baritone-esque, harmonized vocals appearing on almost every track. In the space of a year, Halo has literally found her voice and whilst her vocal ability is questionable at times, she manipulates it to a point so that it doesn't ever take away from her intricately arranged electronic backdrop, as seen in album opener 'Airsick' and not so much in the musically subjugated 'Years'.

Many of tracks on the album center on lyrics of torment and pain (see; 'Carcass' and 'Tumor'), yet they do so in such a way that the damning lyrical content on display never overpowers the essence of the musical arrangements. Nowhere is this more apparent then in 'Thaw', where bouncing arpeggios uplift the somewhat dark subject matter to a point of nonchalance.

Those accustomed with Halo's previous conquests will also be all too familiar with her extraordinary ability to weave a broad array of elements from her seemingly infinite sonic palate to create vast soundscapes with bewildering results. Whilst this Halo-induced disorientation, which can be seen in much of 'MK Ultra' and in all of album closer 'Light + Space', would appear to be undesirable on paper, on Quarantine, this isn't the case. The 12-track offering is filled with surprises around every corner, both pleasant and disturbing, and whilst they can catch you off guard, Halo executes this element of shock and trepidation to perfection so that it creates another dimension that demands the listener's undivided attention.

With her latest release, Halo reminds us that beauty in music doesn't have to involve tedious acoustic guitars and insipid quaint vocals, but can be based on something deeper and darker that lurks below the surface.