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News for The Helio Sequence

THU, JAN 3, 2008 at 8:37 AM

Pandering to the Locals January ‘08

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So my boss just comes over to my desk and says to me, “Lacey, are you going to do a new Pandering? It’s a new year and we need a new Pandering, right?” You know what I say? It’s time for a new name for this piece of shit column and I need some serious help coming up with something clever/not dumb. I know some people read this thing from time to time so please help me out and I will reward the winning name with some Sub Pop junk such as a tshirt or a tote bag or something.

Speaking of Sub Pop, the new Helio Sequence record is so good that it’s the only thing we’re putting out this month. Seriously. Go here to check it out and purchase it. I’m pretty sure we’re giving away a bonus disc with some outtakes, etc., but one of my resolutions for 2008 was to not remember anything, so, you know, I’m not sure.

Hey, Sub Pop is going to the Sundance Film Festival in a few weeks and we’re having a party at the Star Bar on the 18th so come by if you’re in town. There will be performances from The Helio Sequence, Kelley Stoltz, and Daniel Martin Moore plus loads and loads of celebrities and snow. See you on the slopes, suckers.

Grunge Panda by Derek Erdman


Posted by Lacey Swain

NEWS : MON, MAR 2, 2015 at 12:00 AM

The Helio Sequence Set to Release Their Self-Titled Sixth Record May 19th

The Helio Sequence are set to release their self-titled 6th album on CD/LP/DL May 18th & 19th worldwide via Sub Pop. The Helio Sequence, featuring the highlights “Stoic Resemblance,” “Upward Mobility,” and “Battle Lines,” was produced & mixed by the band at The Old Jantzen Building in Portland, OR and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.

You can now hear the lead-off track, “Stoic Resemblance” through an animated visual (Not-the-video) directed by multimedia artist Emanuele Kabu. Stereogum premiered the track and says it “matches harmonious psychedelic chorus with a brisk krautrock pulse (see track post March 2nd).”

The Helio Sequence will tour extensively in 2015 to support the release. Preceding that tour, the band have scheduled an acoustic performance on March 31st in Seattle at The Triple Door. For up to date information on live dates & tickets, please visit http://www.theheliosequence.com.

Preorders for The Helio Sequence are available through Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon and Bandcamp. All customers who pre-order the LP version of the album from megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited “Loser Edition” on yellow-colored vinyl. Additionally, CD and LP versions of The Helio Sequence will also receive The Sunrise Demos, a CD comprised of 11 demos recorded during the making of the album (while supplies last).  Additionally, there will be a new T-shirt design available as stand-alone item or as part of a bundle with purchases of The Helio Sequence.

About The Helio Sequence:
The self-titled sixth album by The Helio Sequence began with a friendly competition. Several of the duo’s friends within the Portland, Oregon music scene had been playing “The 20-Song Game.” The rules were simple, playful and ambitious: Songwriters would arrive in their studios at prearranged times and spend all day recording 20 complete songs. When they were finished, they’d have a party, listen to the results and talk about the process—of taking the good with the bad, of letting creativity push past constraint, of simply making music in the moment. Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel took the spirit of the “The 20-Song Game” to heart, and forged ahead writing a new record.

In May of 2014, inspired by the “20-Song Game”, they began arriving each morning in their Portland space—housed in the cafeteria and break room of an old warehouse— with the mission of making as much music as possible in one month. They began exploring and capturing, recording guitar riffs and keyboard loops, drum patterns and bass lines. One piece documented, they quickly advanced to the next idea. Summers and Weikel didn’t discuss what they were making or the reference points that informed it, though such discussions had once been central to The Helio Sequence’s more self-conscious process. They just played. Created. In time, they returned to each fragment, broadcasting it over the studio PA, jamming and recording the results. Mistakes didn’t matter, and second chances didn’t exist. After two weeks, Summers and Weikel began cutting those loose takes into rough shapes, steadily building songs from their cavalier sketches. 

When June arrived, the duo gathered their 26 finished songs and sent them to 31 friends, fans and family members. They asked each person to rank their 10 favorite tracks. By summer’s end, they had arrived at the brisk 10 tracks that shape the breathless and magnetic The Helio Sequence—a record so named because it’s a kind of clean restart for the longtime pair, a revamp of their process and a revitalization of their results.

The Helio Sequence is a renewed push forward for the band: From the cool wallop of “Deuces,” where guitars snarl and harmonies soar, to the stuttering anxiety of “Upward Mobility”, where pianos pound and drums race, this collection depends upon an effortless kinetic energy. Lyrically, “Stoic Resemblance” is a study of existential anxiety, but musically, it’s a beguiling burst of pop, Summers’ vocals rising over and sliding off of Weikel’s big, irrepressible beat. The bittersweet “Leave or Be Yours” evokes the easy twinkle of romance and the smoldering sadness of losing it. Crisscrossing vocals and cross-talking guitars and drums map a broad swirl of emotions.  There’s a delightful candor to The Helio Sequence, an openness that is a rare and special feat for a band about to enter its third decade (read more at Sub Pop).


Posted by Sam Sawyer