Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from Australian artist, StarAV. Halo was released on February 17 2023 and is a collaboration with Raymond Yan on the instrumental and Preston Woolsey on the outro vocals and piano.

Halo is a song about handling the grief of losing one’s innocent and unburdened self. Sometimes this can manifest as guilt, to which the song reassures that often one is not to blame for unfair circumstances against them.

We previously reviewed StarAV’s track, Loneliness; a mournful soundscape of art rock, shoegaze synth-led sounds, so we were interested to see what Halo would bring to our ears.

Halo begins with synths and strings which give a positive, almost euphoric feel to the track. The listener cannot help but feel uplifted by the tranquillity of the soundscape.

Vocals and drums join the mix, and the kick drum is very bright and present. The voices become layered and fill out the sound. This feels like a truly cinematic soundscape which would work well in the background of a movie scene. StarAV might be advised to seek out opportunities in this area.

Kudos to the falsetto moments during this song. Although clearly heavily effected at the end of the track, the high notes in the middle of the track are of a quality and consistency that Jimmy Somerville would be proud of!

We love the rise and fall in this track – StarAV has clearly taken time to consider the arrangement and ensure that the listener is taken on a rollercoaster journey. The breakdown section which leads into some half-time drums is particularly enjoyable.

The track ends with an almost musical theatre feel with male vocals, effected higher vocals and some gorgeous piano. This is a hugely creative and unique track which StarAV should be very proud of.

Ideas from our ears

A couple of cuts in the vocal track at around 200Hz and again around 550Hz may help reduce some ‘muddy’ and ‘honky’ notes. A boost in the top end centred around 8kHz could help with presence and clarity too. To our ears, the kick drum sound may be a little too present in the 10-11kHz range. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

StarAV’s, Halo, is an ambient, relaxing soundscape and a lyrically well-handled song about the grief of losing one’s innocent and unburdened self.