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The Helio Sequence — Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Deluxe Edition/Oct. 12, 2018)

The Helio Sequence — Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Deluxe Edition/Oct. 12, 2018)

 The Helio Sequence — Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Deluxe Edition/Oct. 12, 2018) The Helio Sequence — Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Deluxe Edition/Oct. 12, 2018)Location: Portland ~ Beaverton, Oregon
Album release: October 12, 2018
Record Label: Sub Pop
Duration:     75:07
01. Lately   4:10
02. Can’t Say No   3:32
03. The Captive Mind   3:34
04. You Can Come to Me   4:00
05. Shed Your Love   3:18
06. Keep Your Eyes Ahead   4:25
07. Back to This   3:34
08. Hallelujah   4:29
09. Broken Afternoon   4:18
10. No Regrets   1:45
11. Turn the Page   3:17
12. Up Against Time   3:54
13. Heart Disease   3:21
14. No Regrets (Electric)   3:05
15. January   5:45
16. No Regrets (Keyboards)   2:11
17. All of These Things   3:24
18. Almost Morning (Demo)   3:19
19. Broken Afternoon (Solo)   4:04
20. April (Demo)   3:23
21. No Regrets (Acoustic)   2:19
℗ 2018 Sub Pop Records
✹   This reissue celebrates the tenth anniversary of The Helio Sequence’s landmark album Keep Your Eyes Ahead with a full remaster of the original album, plus a second album of demos, alternate versions, and outtakes from the same era.
✹   After 3 albums and ten years of touring and recording, The Helio Sequence (Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel) recorded their most dynamic, extraordinary album, „Keep Your Eyes Ahead“. Keep Your Eyes Ahead married the Portland duo’s signature layered keyboards and impossibly big guitars with crisp songwriting and a relatively minimalist approach. The finger picking on „Shed Your Love“ is backed by exquisite strings and ambient noise, but Summers’ serene, self~assured delivery remains front and center. While songs from the band’s early releases spanned up to 7 minutes, even the longest, lushest, catchiest track on „Keep Your Eyes Ahead“ (fiery anthem „Hallelujah“) clocks in at 4 and a half minutes, evidence of just how refined their craft had become. Vocals were recorded spontaneously in bedroom closets and living rooms, which may explain the haunting urgency you hear in Brandon’s voice, especially on the driving title track.
✹   Produced by the band, „Keep Your Eyes Ahead“ confirms in The Helio Sequence an energy and a range that continues to defy narrow categorization. Unapologetic pop and folk meld seamlessly to create songs that are bigger, more epic and polished than anything they’ve ever done. Keep Your Eyes Ahead is the sound of a band and a decade~old partnership that’s been invigorated. And that’s exactly how the songs will make you feel: invigorated.
✹   Upon its release in 2008, the record was warmly received from critics and fans alike. MAGNET named it one of the „Top 25 Albums of 2008,“ and raved, „Keep Your Eyes Ahead“ is a shining example of how to go retro while still moving forward.“ Washington Post offered this, „Trading its former album’s dense keyboard compositions for a more expansive and organic sound, Keep Your Eyes Ahead is the work of a band commanding its audience’s attention. Stand out tracks like „Hallelujah“ and „Can’t Say No“ show the band flexing its melodic muscles, branching out into grandiose guitar rock territory without sacrificing the nuance and keyboard flourishes of its early work.“ And Drowned in Sound, in its 8/10 review of the album, had this to say, „And now, at last, the protracted silence is broken by the surging scream of Keep Your Eyes Ahead, an album that feels as vital as the first, gulping breath of the near drowned. What this record means to Summers and partner Benjamin Weikel is apparent in the intense force of feeling.“
✹   Po původní realizaci v roce 2008 bylo album přijato od kritiků i fanoušků velmi srdečně. MAGNET pojmenoval jako jedno z „Top 25 alb roku 2008“, a říká, že „„Keep Your Eyes Ahead“ je zářícím příkladem toho, jak se vydat retro cestou, zatímco současně se pohybovat kupředu.“ Washington Post to nepřímo potvrdil: „Výměna hlubokých klávesových kompozic za expanzivnější a organičtější zvuk, „Keep Your Eyes Ahead“ je dílem skupiny, která budí pozornost publika. Znamenité skladby jako „Hallelujah“ a „Can not Say No“ ukazují, že kapela flexibilně rozvíjí své melodické party a rozvětvuje je na grandiózním kytarově rockovém teritoriu, aniž by obětovala nuancování a klavírní bujení svých raných prací. A Drowned in Sound dává albu příznivé hodnocení 8/10, přičemž v recenzi k albu promlouvá: „A teď, konečně, po dlouhotrvajícím tichu cítíme rozvlněnou hladinu díky „Keep Your Eyes Ahead“ — albu, které je pocitově stejně důležité, jako ta první — „Accelerated Slow Motion Cinema (EP)“ (1999) a „Com Plex“ (2000)], což je hluboký nádech po téměř utopené existenci. To, co tento výtvor znamená pro Summerse a jeho parťáka, klávesáka/bubeníka Benjamina Weikela, je zcela zřejmé — z intenzity síly pocitu.“
✹   The Portland~based duo Helio Sequence is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Brandon Summers and keyboardist/drummer Benjamin Weikel. Debuting in 1999 with an ambient, psychedelic sound that placed as much emphasis on the guitar as Summers’ muted vocals, the band issued the Accelerated „Slow~Motion Cinema EP“ before dropping the full~length Com Plex in 2000. Helio Sequence’s 100~percent home studio approach allowed for a lot of sonic experimentation, and that aesthetic informed the swirls and layers of their evolving sound. When it did touch the ground, it was at points between My Bloody Valentine, Mouse on Mars, and the weirder side of the Elephant 6 collective. Young Effectuals followed in 2001 before the Helio Sequence jumped from the roster of Cavity Search Records to Sub Pop, releasing the more auspicious Love and Distance in June 2004. The album gave an unprecedented amount of prominence to Summers’ vocals, but the singer was unable to keep his throat in shape on the subsequent tour. He returned to Portland, his voice severely damaged, and was forced to relearn the craft through a series of vocal exercises and lifestyle changes. Taking cues from another raspy~voiced singer, Bob Dylan, Summers steadily regained the use of his voice, and the Helio Sequence returned in 2008 with Keep Your Eyes Ahead.
✹   While on tour in support of the album, the duo’s rented studio/practice space flooded, wiping out some of their gear and leaving them in need of a new space to record and create. The band’s new digs at a remote, disused warehouse offered them the seclusion necessary to experiment and stretch out. The results of these insular experiments informed the more patient, languid sound of 2012’s Negotiations. In 2013, Summers and Weikel tried their hand at producing other artists for the first time, working with a Brazilian combo named Quarto Negro, remixing tracks for adventurous hip~hop act Shabazz Palaces, and mixing projects for several Portland~based artists. In 2014, some of their friends in the Portland music community came up with „the 20 Song Game,“ in which participants were asked to come up with 20 new songs in a single day. While Summers and Weikel didn’t quite make the goal, it prompted them to challenge themselves to create as many new tracks as they could in a month. After coming up with 26 tunes, Summers and Weikel trimmed the list down to ten, which were polished and compiled into the band’s self~titled sixth album released by Sub Pop in May 2015. ~ Johnny Loftus
✹   Accelerated Slow Motion Cinema (EP) (1999)
✹   Com Plex (2000)
✹   Young Effectuals (2001)
✹   Love and Distance (2004)
✹   Keep Your Eyes Ahead (2008)
✹   Heliomena “Converter” (split 7” with Menomena) (2010)
✹   Negotiations (2012)
Website: http://www.heliosequence.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theheliosequence
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/HelioSequence
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HelioSequence
Label: https://www.subpop.com/

The Helio Sequence — Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Deluxe Edition/Oct. 12, 2018)


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