The eponymous album by the Portland, Oregon band The Helio Sequence is one of my favorites of the first three months of 2015. Their perfect blend of dreamy vocals and upbeat guitars makes me relax without getting sleepy. They have the same musical qualities than bands like Grizzly Bear or Travis with strong melodic songwriting abilities. It’s tough not to let go when transported by 80s style songs like Red Shifting. That’s one song that will surely make it on my top-of-the-year list.

The main singer Brandon Summers has the same beautiful spleen than Travis’ Fran Healy used to have on late ’90s albums (especially on the beautiful Seven Hours). There’s also this spooky reverb effect in the many layers of voices which brings an interesting twist to their songs. On Upward Mobility, it brings a unique feel which somehow reminds me of U2’s “Pop Music” era, while there’s a general reminiscence of 80s bands like The Smiths (Leave or Be Yours) without, of course, Morrissey’s bigger than life presence. Stoic Resemblance is a very cool song that you’ll end up listen over and over again.

Vocals by The Helio Sequence are almost all the time delivered with chorus. As main singer Brandon Summers shares thoughts and expressions in his beautiful but never pretentious singing, his colleague Benjamin Weikel delivers harmonies that blend with layers of guitars full of effects (Deuces). These songs seem like they could go on forever, as many fade out gradually, which is something that is rare these days. And just when you thought The Helio Sequence were to slowly lose grip, they come back with another catchy song, Unconsequential Ties. A very strong album that should be on the “must hear” lists of all music enthusiasts.

“The Helio Sequence” is the 6th album from the Brandon Summers – Benjamin Weikel duo. It’s a clean restart for the band as they recorded over 26 songs in the process of making this album. They started to record as many ideas as they could, fine-tuning afterwards.

The Helio Sequence
(Sub Pop, 2015)

-Genre: dreamy indie rock
-Similar as The Darcys, The Rest, Travis

Go to Helio Sequence’s Facebook fanpage
Go to Sub Pop’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef

Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.