On one of their rare excursions outside, nightcrawling London trio HÆLOS have been tracked down and spotted in the Latitude forest. After a year holed up inside windowless studios, Lotti Benardout, Dom Goldsmith, Arthur Delaney are staring up at the sky like it’s a long-lost friend. “We make these forays into the outside world,” says Delaney, before all three confirm they’ll be back indoors recording within hours.
That’s been the code for these three since summer 2014, when they vowed to cut off all ties and record an album. “We shut ourselves off,” says Benardout. “We hit that point where the most important thing was making music,” admits Delaney. “I think we’ve had this work ethic that was healthy from the start and is maybe entering unhealthy, slightly obsessive territory.” Rooted in East London, Goldsmith describes their old recording hub as a “cave”, joking about the bloodbaths that’d take place when things got too nocturnal. “The darkness creeps into your soul and… makes you a little bit punchy.”
It’s evident in HÆLOS’ early work that they’re more catered to 4AM deep-thinking than free-spirited weekend picnics. Comparisons to Massive Attack and Portishead aren’t ones they shy away from. Those acts were clearly in mind from the beginning, it’s since been their mission to stamp their own trade on darkness-drenched pop. “We honed it in, refined and developed it,” describes Goldsmith. “We’ve worked so hard over the last eight months, and we can already see how far we’ve come,” agrees Delaney. “We’re making something that feels significant, at least to us.”
All three members approached the band with a different perspective and background. Benardout leads everything with a vocal that could camouflage into any surrounding. Goldsmith brings with him previous experience in the buzzy Get People. Delaney used to front a band called Born Blonde, also the former home of Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson from Jungle. From the very first moment they stepped in a studio together, HÆLOS were on the same page.
Whether it’s a case of being ultra-disciplined or shameless workaholics, they’re not leaving that studio anytime soon. “When we’re done with the album, we’ll keep writing,” declares Benardout. “The end is in sight for this record. And then we’ll start the next one!” beams Goldsmith. “No rest for the wicked,” concludes Delaney.
Photo: Mike Massaro / DIY. Taken from the September 2015 issue of DIY, out now.