There's nothing quite like an experimental electronic album to give your senses a run for their money. Helena Hauff offers a disorienting experience with Qualm, her loud new album that is full of jagged and harsh synths to make sure you stay captured by the insanity.
There's a lot of different things going on within Qualm that make it pretty interesting. It starts off loud and proud with 'Barrow Boot Boys,' the dynamic yet extremely distorted brings the record to a pretty jarring start, though at least it has your attention. Other tracks keep you more uneasy, like the mysterious 'Entropy Created You and Me' and the creepy, disorienting 'Fag Butts In The Fire Bucket.' While diverse, Qualm has one major issue to it: it has no direction or, really, any purpose. Hauff succeeds at creating atmospheres but doesn't really tie them together, leaving Qualm as a collection of diverse but jarring instrumentals. There's nothing really connecting with 'Hyper-Intelligent Genetically Enriched Cyborgs' and the brooding, bouncy ending 'It Was All Fields Around Here When I Was A Kid,' though there feels like there should be something that takes you from place A to place B. There's a clear narrative of growing up and looking to the past with the titles, but there's nothing within the music that ties them together.
Helena Hauff offers a disorienting experiencing with Qualm, offering an album that tries to have a narrative but never quiets establishes it in the music. The titles are more engaging than the music itself, and the songs really just come off as jarring electronica.
Favorite Track: It Was All Fields Around Here When I Was A Kid
Least Favorite Track: Barrow Boot Boys
Rating: 50 / 100
Stream or buy Qualm on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: