AOTY 2023
Laurel Halo - Atlas
Critic Score
Based on 10 reviews
2023 Ratings: #82 / 746
User Score
Based on 324 ratings
2023 Ratings: #152
Liked by 50 people
September 22, 2023 / Release Date
LP / Format
Awe / Label
Sign In to rate and review


โ€˜Atlasโ€™ is an inviting odyssey, allowing the listener to appreciate the subtle textures and juxtaposition between acoustic and digital sound. A thoroughly worthwhile listen for ambient fans that value a narrative.
Northern Transmissions

Halo is able to relay the feelings of anxiety, euphoria, beauty and distress, and many other feelings, in the ten tracks that she recorded with her friends. It is an artistic feat worthy of note, and I wonder what these songs would sound like in a live setting, if that would even be possible.

Spectrum Culture

Laurel Halo has made many records with powerful imagery, but the impressively textured and detailed Atlas is the most cinematic her music has ever sounded, and she is all the better for it.

The acclaimed electronic musician synthesizes digital and acoustic instrumentation to generate a hazy emotional map across 10 songs.
The experimental artistโ€™s fifth solo album is among her best, a beautiful collection of minimalist ambient compositions in which no line extends for long without dissolving into an inky blot.
Beats Per Minute

It’s easy to label Atlas ‘ambient’, but there are voices amidst the myriad layers, and the way Halo has arranged and dispatched the various tones gives it more of a direction than most music in that field.


Laurel Halo’s Atlas feels like a natural progression. Mixing her voice with electronics and instruments, she creates her most glacial music yet.

The album is bookended by "Abandon" and "Earthbound," the two tracks with Giske, whose presence isn't obvious, submerged and seemingly elongated amid dense constructions. It all resonates more deeply with each listen.
Loud and Quiet

Atlas combines numerous musical vernaculars to create an unending, modern minimalist triumph which stands tall alongside groundbreaking titles such as Brian Eno’s Music for Airports and Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians. A wonderfully refreshing and worthwhile listen.

Halo is occasionally guilty of tasteful conservatory restraint, but overall this is a richly immersive headphones experience, a haunted sonic mansion of many chambers.

Can I just say how much I love this artwork? Idk, it's just got such a nice blurry quality to it and it's a nice picture, and I think that quality sorta helps show a bit how the record sounds overall. Shoutout to @VideoBoy, @SilentPassion, and @HerbBride for all really liking this record which got me curious to check it out.

So like I haven't listened to anything by Laurel Halo before, nor did I even know about her before I saw people rating this back when it dropped, but both the artwork ... read more


Laurel Halo's Atlas is a ๐—™๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ:

... One thing about Laurel Halo, she never made the same album twice. Throughout her decade long career, Laurel Halo has made a name for herself as one of the most eccentric music experimentalist working right now even when she spend most parts of her discography dabbling on subtle electronica and strange ambient. Atlas is nothing new of an addition to her discography, in a sense that it's also an entirely ... read more


There was the boat incident. Your body somehow ended overboard. You don’t remember the accident. In fact, you don’t remember anything. You lie unconscious at the bottom of the sea. Your subconscious takes over the last few minutes you have to possibly live. Dreams emerge. Ones coincidentally of sea experiences. Ones you’ve never lived. Ones of mesmerizing, glittery undersea castles, mermaids, and gods. You’ve slowly emerged with the memories, becoming less and less ... read more




Atlas’s album cover illustrates the beauty of what you’ll find ahead of it, movement so intense and sudden that colours fuzz together in a blur. The songs only elevate this feeling, adding a haunting feeling that thrives in a minimalist landscape.

My familiarity with Laurel Halo goes about as far as her debut Quarantine, an album that lives to be somewhat of a distant cousin to Atlas. The two albums being 11 years apart have clear differing qualities but share a connection to one ... read more


It's fine, not my cup of tea I guess. Rather boring ambience in my opinion, like, nothing special to this but not bad. If you like ambient check it out, but if you don't, then stay far away from this, this is not the record to change your mind.

Purchasing Atlas from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Contributions By
anztec, OPENblinds, riquitrefe
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.

Please stay on topic. To go off topic, head to the General Chat.

Sign in to comment

Added on: July 12, 2023