The Helio Sequence are an Oregon-bred duo that mix intricate, dance-y drum beats with atmospheric guitar and blips and bloops played on a laptop. It's a huge sound for just two guys, and it's one that I've sorely missed over the four years that have passed since the band dropped their super amazing awesome 2008 effort, Keep Your Eyes Ahead. But there's good news: The Helio Sequence will return with their fifth album, Negotiations, on September 11 via Sub Pop.
The album was written, recorded and produced by the band in their new studio in Portland, Oregon, which they moved to after a flood ruined their last studio in 2009. According to a press release, the new digs were an influence on singer-guitarist Brandon Summers and drummer-keyboardist Benjamin Weikel, as the sessions proved to be their loosest and most free-form yet. Lyrically, Summer is still going deep, though, confronting "solitude, memory, hope, misgivings, loss, atonement and inner dialogues," explains a statement.
Check out an album trailer below.
So that's all good and well. But why should you care? Well, for starters, both are super talented musicians; Weikel has played with Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie, among other Northwest rock outfits, while Summers is a guitar and production virtuoso, layering skyward riffs with atmospheric laptop sounds that never sound overbearing. Still not convinced? Listen to my five favorite Helio Sequence tracks from Keep Your Eyes Ahead (yeah, it was that good) below, then tell me in the comments below if you're excited for the arrival of Negotiations.
Also, keep your eyes ahead for upcoming fall tour dates from Helio Sequence, who proved yet again at Sasquatch Fest that they're a top-notch live act, too.