Review of Deco Halo’s Low
The title of their release might be Low but there is nothing low about the new single by Deco Halo. The instrumentation and arrangements get your head nodding to the rhythm from the outset. The band defines their sound as pop and the track is a definite and instant crowd pleaser. However, the craftsmanship (in almost deceptively uplifting the mood set both by the title and the contemplative cover artwork) shows a different perspective to what pop has accustomed its audience to expect. It is a pleasure to hear the way the soaring vocals of lyricist and singer Renee Paul so well match and ride on composer Len Rivers’ sound waves. The atmosphere they set is decidedly against the hand that the outside world deals them (according to the lyrics). There is no better time than the current uncertain period to appreciate a message that might not have been crafted for the circumstances but manages to give you a musical hand out of it, at least for four minutes and nine seconds.
Renee Paul penned the lyrics and Leonard Rivers composed the music and produced the single. They worked alongside mix engineer Mark Abrams and a whole set of session musicians: Chris Stromquist on drums, Leonard Rivers on bass, Bernardo Bosisio on Electric Guitar, Jason Swanson on Acoustic Guitar, Mike Snow on Horns, Jeff Jacobs on piano and Linda Dachtyl on organ.
Deco Halo: The band
Deco Halo are lyricist and vocalist Renee Paul and composer and musician Len Rivers: a 15-year partnership of two music veterans borne of or in spite of band breakups, divorces, relocations, remarriages, and significant changes in musical direction. But let’s give Renee the microphone because her take on who the band is gives us a more introspective insight into it.
“While we share a few things in common – love of all genres of music, largely self-taught, strong-willed personalities – we are also quite different. Len likes to have his hands in everything, whereas I am really good at delegating. Len is a composer who writes from the perspective of instrument and mood, while I am a lyricist who writes from the perspective of story and emotion. Neither of us is particularly free with sharing personal information and feelings, and we rarely work in the same room or at the same time on a new song idea. But despite all of this, our ideas always seem to find each other, fitting perfectly together like pieces of a puzzle. Just like we do.
In some ways, it’s a miracle that Deco Halo even exists. I would love to tell you a story of young, hungry up-and-comers, renting a van and driving cross-country to seek their fortune doing what they love. Or a story of seasoned veterans who have released a multitude of albums and performed at highly sought-after venues around the world. But that isn’t this story.
We are now in our 3rd iteration, this time as a musical duo collaborating with musicians all over the world, including Stockholm, Moscow, London, Nashville, New York, Austin, and Rio de Janeiro. This latest collection of songs reflects our love for the interplay between light and dark, sparse and lush, loud and soft, happiness and pain. While some lyrical themes are consistent with previous releases, the music has evolved into more pop/contemporary form, with instrumentation ranging from acoustic guitar to full orchestras.”
Deco Halo will be releasing their latest creations in a series of singles over the course of the next year, through all streaming services. Renee says:
“Dear listeners, we hope you enjoy the new direction as much as we have enjoyed creating it!”