- 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.
01. Don't Say No feat. How To Dress Well
02. Out of Hand
04. Put It