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Negotiations: New Helio Sequence Offers Gentle, Head Nodding Goodness

Posted by September 15th, 2012 No Comments »

The Helio Sequence
Sub Pop Records
By Derek York

This Sub Pop duo’s fifth album has found a cozy home in my “wool socks and coffee on a rainy Sunday morning” playlist.

Negotiations waivers between an homage to the 80’s art-rock movement and their own brand of post-rock pop. With this duality, Portland’s Helio Sequence seem like a good bill mate for New Order, Elliot Smith, Girls, Cursive, Fleet Foxes… (wow, that’d be a pretty cool show actually.)

The mellow groove that runs throughout Negotiations is a welcome indulgence as it draws the listener in with melodic melodies, carefully layered orchestration, and instant sing-a-long choruses that waft around your head like rich smoke from an ornate pipe.

Songs like “Hall of Mirrors”and “When the Shadow Falls” feel like old classics, recently found and remastered, while “Harvester of Souls” and “December” have the minimalist elegance of more modern arrangements.

There’s plenty of technical looping wizardry going on for gear nerds too, but it’s a very easy listen for anyone who’s looking for some good-feeling tunes to keep their head gently nodding as the world spins on. – (8/10)


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