Reviewed by: Tiffany Taylor
Ten years in the making, listeners are finally graced with the beauty and resilience of Hello Shark’s LP Delicate. Created from the heart of Lincoln Halloran, this album evokes a coffee shop soundtrack that is minimalistic and charismatic in the most aromatic way. Every now and then, there is a craving for something that is calming yet emotional; a musical creation that transcends the surface and dives just slightly under the surface of our cores. Delicate delivers a warm welcome into the new season and the emotion that arises during the brief period of time is spans.
The album includes 12 tracks that fall into one another effortlessly. The entire thing sets the mood for a backdrop or background noise while studying or while riding the train home for fall break. As an indie artist, Hello Shark provides small elemental feels that set the band apart from any other indie group. From the start of “Alligator” the tone is very intimate. I feel as if even though I am listening through headphones, I would be feeling the same emotions and hearing the same raw sound even if the band was in front of me. That is very important for a low-fi feel in an album or in a band altogether. A mix of acoustic and light electric guitar swim through and tangle themselves together as each song leaps to the next. “Danny” includes an accompanied female singer that is reminiscent to The Moldy Peaches in sound and voice. I feel like I’m in the middle of an indie flick and things feel transparent.
Following into “Jackson Brown,” we immediately hear “Baby, I’m delicate, I don’t wanna quit.” We hear in the lyrics about a time in Halloran’s life that was very transitional. Moving and changing places along with the changing of seasons and life- it’s overwhelming. He sways us into a feeling that is longing and vulnerable. I can really appreciate the simplicity of the lyrics and vintage synth that encapsulates over the entire song.
An overarching theme is love and loss, trying to forget but memories are powerful and overtake the senses of our previous experiences. We feel that largely in “Big Game” and “Wish We Still Talked.” There is a large amount of word painting with intention behind things specifically mentioned. Halloran is letting us inside everything that fueled Delicate, even things that hurt and still exist. “Fishing for Bats” comes in heavy with keyboard and bass…which overtakes his voice altogether but the words nevertheless are still important and still affected me in an undeniable way.
“Drake Night” is sweet and has an ’80s vibe. Reminds me of The Fillmore’s Drake Night in Philadelphia (which, who knows, maybe that is what he is alluding to), but it has a subtle and quick message that soon just fades, as if it was an interlude. Entering the last segment of the album: “Laugh It Off” cracks and cut deeper than some of the other tracks on Delicate with pleading and a rain cloud overhead. Lastly, “Wife” ends the album in a resting motion. This leaves the album in a good place, without pain and questions but with acceptance and resolution.
Hello Shark gave me (and hopefully you) a great introduction to the new season, the old wounds from the summer, and the new periods of life we are all walking into.