Halos & Lassos
When not touring as a part of Sufjan Stevens’ back-up band, John Ringhofer lives in a church and makes music as Half-Handed Cloud, sounding like the Hidden Cameras, if they were looking for God instead of the next great orgy. Its twee chamber-pop sensibilities — acoustic instruments, Casio keyboards, air organs and marimbas — are fun. But the problem may come in digesting its message: Halos & Lassos ain’t no sly, God-is-Great, cryptic message hidden within bad poetic metaphors. This is full-on scripture with frequent allegorical references and a healthy dose of earthly conscience to boot. This “music encapsulates his struggle to make sense of his life and his passions,” says his website, “expressed as an all-consuming search for God.” Say no more.