Halou – Honeythief


Apologies for the inactivity since the last post. It’s time for another music review. Today I thought I’d drag something out from the murky depths of obscurity, ‘Honeythief’ by the relatively unknown dream-pop band Halou.

Halou hardly received international success, and you’d be forgiven for never having heard the name. However, this band has produced some brilliant songs, and this one happens to be a personal favourite.

The song begins with soft, dreamy vocals—the band’s trademark style. The singer almost sings in a whisper and it’s easy to become entranced. This is contrasted quite sharply however with a strong drum beat in the background. The instrumentation throughout the verses remains quite simple, accompanied by a bassline and a mesmerizing melody which often repeats. The chorus becomes a bit more complex with a guitar thrown into the mix and a layer of different synths.

Not to go too deep into the technical side of things, but the instrumentation in this piece is pretty unique, and not what you’d expect from most pop songs, which is possibly why this band can be difficult to place into a genre. The song is also pretty interesting in terms of structure. It begins with your typical pattern. Intro, verse, chorus. However, after the first chorus, three consecutive verses are played followed by a bridge, before ending on the chorus twice. It’s somewhat rare to have the verse repeated so often in a row. This song has a strong element of repetition—it’s certainly not a bad thing though. This is ‘dream-pop’ after all. The repetition in this song almost has a hypnotic effect, and it would certainly be easy to fall asleep while listening to the singer’s vocals.

Moving onto lyrics. Now I usually have a strong aversion to most lyrics that drone on about love. I feel the subject has become so trite that it’s incredibly difficult to write original love songs. On the surface Honeythief does seem focus around the topic of love, though this is not necessarily romantic love. The subject of the lyrics is rather obscure. This is mainly preference, but I usually tend to prefer lyrics that make you think, so this song scores points in that department. From my personal interpretation it seems that the singer is talking about a lover who is too good for them, after all, the line “you surprise me with just how perfect you are” is repeated often. Alternatively, you can argue that the song is sung from the perspective of a mother talking about her child. This theory becomes apparent through such lines as:

“I’m supposed to be
The stronger one
You always seem
To prove that theory wrong”

Or

“Even with all my flaws
And my bad examples
You surprise me with
Just how perfect you are”

You could go as far as to argue that the mother is speaking of how her child turned out perfect despite all her flaws. Despite the fact that she is supposed to be “the stronger one,” her child has become a source of strength and is supporting the mother instead.

That’s just one interpretation, but it goes to show that the lyrics are written pretty cleverly. I think a good sign of most lyrics is being able to reflect on them and arrive at different interpretations, and this song does that wonderfully.

All in all, this is a beautifully written song and definitely deserves a listen. Halou doesn’t particularly get the attention they deserve, but if you’re looking for something different they’re certainly worth a try.

9/10

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