Favorite

The Helio Sequence: Negotiations (Sub Pop) 

Nobody does shimmering cool quite like the Helio Sequence.

click to enlarge cd1.jpg

With sparse instrumentation—guitars, keyboards and drums—and a sense of all-enveloping reverb, the Oregon duo of Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel essentially spins gold from hay.

Four years after the exceptional Keep Your Eyes Ahead comes Negotiations, a similarly exceptional album that finds the band molding a palpable sense of late-night solitude into songs that blend dreamscapes with a sci-fi sense of mystery and wonder.

It's an album that examines different shades of solitude and isolation—self-reflection, longing, regret and determination—sometimes comforting, sometimes haunting. The gatefold album art captures that essence: a midnight view from a tree-crowded overlook, with Portland shining quietly below.

Lead-single "October" examines how the tangled lines of personal freedom trip up relationships. "In a perfect world / There would be no divide / In a perfect world / We could both open up / And see the other side," Summers sings.

"Downward Spiral" follows, with its bleakly descending keyboard line mirroring the song's lyrics. With little in the way of details, Summers describes the helplessness of watching repeated mistakes destroy someone.

One of the best records of 2012, Negotiations balances its downer moments with beauty and hope, aiming for an everything-in-its-right-place perfection—and succeeding with astonishing ease.

More by Eric Swedlund

  • Out on Top

    Big Meridox reflects on 20 years in Tucson hip-hop as he preps final shows
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • Know Your Product

    Stars Pick Their Top Five! This Week: Lucy Dacus
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Light the Match

    Sedona’s own decker. kicks out a fiery new album
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

HOCO Fest 2017 Countdown: DJ Orange Julius

Laughing Stock: Late Nite Laugh Lessons

The Weekly List: 20 Things To Do in Tucson In The Next 10 Days

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Out on Top

    Big Meridox reflects on 20 years in Tucson hip-hop as he preps final shows
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • Know Your Product

    Stars Pick Their Top Five! This Week: Dead Cross
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation