halves boa howl album cover

It’s been almost three years since Dublin band Halves released their debut album It Goes, It Goes (Forever & Ever). The wait is almost over, because on July 5 the six piece will give us Boa Howl, a collection of 11 tracks that have a lot to do to follow up on its Choice Prize-nominated predecessor. The album is going to be released on Halves’ own label Hate Is The Enemy. A band renowned for their dense, layered sound, they’ve brought in a few guests for the album, including the vocals of Gemma Hayes, Canadian musician Elaine Kelly-Canning on harp, with added string performances from Swedish players, according to the press release. Halves said: “The album was inspired by a wide range of influences – from The Flamingos and Joe Meek, to Clouddead, to traditional Malian music and the 1950s orchestral arrangements of Gordon Jenkins.” Boa Howl was recorded over two weeks at Svenska Grammofon Studion in Gothenberg, and self-produced. You want some more info about the release? OK then. “Eleven songs were recorded live on 2″ reel-to-reel tape by Oskar Lindberg, Gyorgy Barocsai and Halves’ live engineer Ciaran Mangan. The album was recorded using the infamous Neve analog mixing console previously owned by Queen and used by the likes of Johnny Cash and Aretha Franklin.

Our first taster of the album is the Sigus Rós and Radiohead-influenced ‘Drumhunter’, but those are two of their main influences anyway. It reminds me of the former’s ‘Gobbledigook‘. It’s a skittery track that never lets up on the momentum. They ask, “Are you feeling blue?” before proclaiming that they’ll comfort you. It’s all I ask of Halves, and they never fail to help out. You can preorder Boa Howl at the Hate Is The Enemy website. There are plenty of bundles to choose from and it’s sure to be one of the standout releases of the summer. They’re also playing around the country in support of the release – tour dates after the jump.

Halves tour dates:
Forbidden Fruit Festival, Dublin, July 1;
Tower Records, Dublin, July 6;
Button Factory, Dublin. July 13;
The Model Arts Centre, Sligo, July 20;
Bourke’s, Limerick, July 25;
Cyprus Avenue, Cork, July 26