Parker and Lily

Hello Halo

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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson

Valentine Six's Parker Noon and Lily Wolfe switch from their gregarious jazz-rock roots for sweeping space rock sweetness in their duo, the aptly titled Parker & Lily. Hello Halo introduces Parker & Lily's quieter side, but an enchanting beauty similar to inquisitive quirkiness of Lou Reed, the Magnetic Fields, and Galaxie 500 depicts the pair's own poetic lushness about their native New York and their fear of pop. Noon's dark vocalic hush is inviting with a mystical glow inside his miserable baritone guitar, yet Hello Halo's sonic bliss is minimalized in rhythm. Intricate use of the farfisa, vibraphone, Hammond organs, and marimba provide a musical intimacy throughout the entire album, but a romance that's both abstract and refined. Wolfe, who is a classically trained pianist, projects dream pop vocals reminiscent of Julee Cruise and the Tindersticks' Stuart Staples, providing cagey soundscapes on songs such as "My Golden Arm" and "Waitress Tokyo," but she's Noon's shadow. She allows him to be the chief of songs, and his bout on "Desert Holiday" is heavy with a love-struck heart, twirling around stripped organ sounds for an old-fashioned love story. They're both poets prying at space between a good love, a wicked love, and a dark affair that's both dramatic and sexy. Hello Halo glistens inside such imagery for one of indie rock's most underrated albums of 2001.

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