Some bands spend years cultivating a loyal fan base in the San Francisco Bay Area before making their way into the national music community, and some seem to bypass the local scene alltogether, either because their style doesnâ€™t seem to fit in anywhere or because they were catapulted into the spotlight before the local scene could take hold. San Francisco’s Halou is a product of the former.
As they celebrate their twelfth year as a band, husband and wife team Rebecca and Ryan Coseboom and producer Count have seemed to find general recognition nationally, but remain unknown by many local music gurus. In an email interview with Ryan, he explained that he thinks the band just never quite fit in to any one scene.
â€œWeâ€™ve always kept up on music and ideas from all over and I think that has been an important factor in us identifying more with things very much outside of the San Francisco area, whatever those may be,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m not sure we really fit in anywhere. Weâ€™ve managed to somehow keep to the side of pretty much every fad that has come along, and weâ€™re fine with that.â€
But thatâ€™s not to say the band doesnâ€™t have a strong following. Halou has just returned from a nationwide tour with Bob Mould (most famously known for HÃ¼sker DÃ¼), and Countâ€™s mixes have been played across the country, including a Rod Stewart remix that made it to #1 on the Billboard charts. Also, their video for the 2006 song â€œEverything is OKâ€ got lots of attention during the YouTube Underground contest:
Count was also on a panel at last yearâ€™s CMJ festival about remixing, amidst general demand for his production services among such performers as DJ Shadow and Blackalicious.
Halouâ€™s most recent project is The Sawtooth EP, a collection of six songs that have a slightly different feel. The same effected guitars and smooth vocals pervade the songs, but this time with a bit less of a purely electronic core.
â€œThe new music definitely has a shift in focus,â€ Ryan said. â€œWeâ€™re still working in the same way, but I started writing all the songs with guitar and bass â€“ as opposed to software instruments and samplers as I have previously done. So, this time we approached things in reverse, sort of. The result, surprisingly, is that it sounds like Halou, but with enough of a twist to keep it fresh and interesting. I simply couldnâ€™t make another record the same way. It wasnâ€™t working.â€
Here’s a clip from the song “Evensong” from the new EP: