Niall McGuirk on The Helio Sequence‘s eponymous 6th album
Half a dozen albums! 6 whole albums! That’s what The Helio Sequence have produced in their admirable life thus far. 6 records in and they’ve run out of titles. Most bands can’t think of an album name the first time around… it’s either that or they do it so reviewers can state eponymous release. But no, not good enough for the Helio Sequence. They have re-invigorated themselves and have started again.
The process behind this record is a good tale. Brandon and Benjamin, who make up the band, had an idea for a record. Rather than writing songs and rehearsing them until they are as tight as a wetsuit in the middle of the North Atlantic they decided to let things flow this time around. Turn up for work, express themselves musically as individuals and see what happened. They did this for a couple of weeks and then merged them together, see what worked. After a month they had 26 songs. For many bands this could have made up a concept triple album but the duo sent these tracks to a collection of their friends and said “hey, listen to these and rank your top ten. The result was 31 votes and, Eurovision style, 10 tracks won out.
I guess that’s where my interest drops out. For a two piece you may guess there are many effects and keyboards in the mix. If you were of that persuasion to make such a guess you’d be correct. If you like bands of that ilk you may enjoy this, it just doesn’t grab me. It’s clean, well produced and extremely well constructed. Electronic dream pop wrapped in an indie rock flavour. However they seem like such a nice duo I don’t want to rain on that parade. Like that wet suit in the North Atlantic, you’ll want it if you are close to the cold sea and have an affinity for the water. If you have any interest in electronic music and haven’t been tainted by punk rock protest songs then chances are this will fit you very snugly.