Shlohmo's music has evolved from the pastoral beatscapes of Bad Vibes to a fascinating mixture of hip-hop, shoegaze and downtempo in the past two years. Laid Out is the full realization of the sound Henry Laufer has been bringing to his live sets lately, a stunning mélange of chopped & screwed '90s pop and slowed-down house. Where his previous work sounded homemade, these songs sparkle with the polish of someone in the process of mastering his medium.
Pairing Laufer's defeatist plink-plonk with How To Dress Well's inimitable falsetto, "Don't Say No" balances one of the latter's most wrenching songs with trap hi-hats and a smokescreen of synth and blown-out guitar. On the rest of the tracks, disembodied voices moan sweet nothings. Each provides a different pivot for a song, and Laufer gets more adventurous with the rhythms, like the spidery "Out of Hand," with its rich palette of drum sounds, or "Put It," which sprays a screaming synth line with machine gun hi-hats.
On "Later" his sound edges dangerously close to formula: a lengthy vocal clip is obscured and dragged over a template of skittering drums. The closer "Without" makes up for it with a different kind of retread—this one apes the bluesy guitar of "Seriously," an established standout of Shlohmo's, draping it in the sublime teenage angst that's slowly becoming his trademark.
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Tracklist: Shlohmo - Laid Out01. Don't Say No feat. How To Dress Well
02. Out of Hand
04. Put It