Aquilo’s debut album Silhouettes provides ambiently addicting sound

When the wistful voice and tender piano of the opening notes of Aquilo’s “Silhouette” abruptly began playing in the middle of the run-of-the-mill Spotify playlist I had been listening to, I was stopped cold. I was struck by the raw beauty of the song. Before it was even over, I knew the ordinary Spotify playlist had granted me with something quite extraordinary.

Aquilo is a British duo, made up of Tom Higham and Ben Fletcher, whose debut album, Silhouettes, was much awaited for after having released five EPs since 2013. Their music can be summed up as electro-pop, synth beats blended with simplistic piano and violin to create dreamily sorrowful masterpieces. Tom Higham’s soaring, forlorn vocals rise above the noise on every track, perfectly complimenting the tone of the music. His falsetto is utterly breathtaking, especially overtop the ambient tones that are so signature for Aquilo. And, the lyrics of each track are just as hauntingly beautiful as the willowy, longing sound of Higham’s voice.

There’s a pull to Aquilo’s music that’s almost indescribable. The signature sound they’ve cultivated is incredibly pleasing and calming to the ear. The combination of traditional instruments and modern electronic beats produces a sound I absolutely adore. A lot of the songs, especially “All I Ever Wanted,” are layered with the echoes and harmonies of Higham’s voice, creating an enchanting resonance that perfectly accompanies the music. While most of the songs are heavy with emotion, songs like “Never Hurt Again” and “Complication” are more upbeat, giving the album dimension.

Simply put, Silhouettes provides an array of music ranging from catchy electro-pop bops, to calming, ambient tracks, to ballads that are the perfect soundtrack for your cry session. Aquilo has an addicting sound that certainly has me under its spell. They are set to come to Chicago this October, and I will definitely be begging for tickets until then.