BY SARAH KEARNS
Shortly after releasing their debut album, Bunny, in June 2016, Halo Circus is back at it again with a new collection of works. The EP, The East Lansing Sessions, features five alternative rock songs, three of which had already made an appearance in Bunny, but were resynthesized into stripped-down, acoustic versions.
The EP is commenced with Nothing at All. This was my personal favorite. Halo Circus had thrown out the previous version’s background music, an overwhelming fusion of multiple instruments, and replaced it with acoustic guitar. The track was soothing and beautifully simple.
Following is All I Have. Lead singer Allison Iraheta harmonizes with piano melodies, but the gentle combination is cut off by guitar strumming. The tone immediately changes afterwards, the singing sounding more like droning. Though not inherently bad, the song was the least impressive of the five.
Up next is Band Aid. The lyrics were intimate. “As high as I could get, I rise above me. That human far below, not who I plan to be.” It felt like Iraheta was reading from a page in her diary; personal, but relatable.
Fourth in the EP is Stand Up. This song has faster, more complex instrumentals than the others. Catchy and upbeat, it creates a balance amongst the slower tracks. Plus, it's the perfect tune to dance to.
Finally, is Needle and the Damage Done. In their cover of the Neil Young classic, Halo Circus delivers a fresh take while retaining the authentic sound of Young. Verses fluently give way to guitar solos and both fans of Halo Circus and Young are left content.
The East Lansing Sessions is an EP worth listening to. While Halo Circus didn't necessarily supply new music, their repurposed songs show substantial improvement from Bunny. Iraheta’s voice is clearer and the instrumentals are better than ever.