The Helio Sequence: reviewed

Keep Your Eyes Ahead


Sub Pop

The Helio Sequence’s latest pairs clever, intimate lyrics with evocative sonics that complement rather than distract from Brandon Summers’ open, plaintive singing. The singer/songwriter/guitarist puts his vocals up front in the mix, artfully expressing heartsickness and other forms of disappointment over subtle drumming, ethereal synthesizers and underwater guitar washes. The longstanding duo of Summers and percussionist/keyboardist Benjamin Weikel judiciously sprinkle the tracks with ambient noises that gracefully add texture.

I could complain about the album’s sameness from song to song, but I find it compelling how each track flows seamlessly into the next — the melancholy (but never quite depressed) mood sustained throughout. The disc opens with its most memorable track, “Lately,” where Summers protests that he really doesn’t miss the lover who’s no longer in his life. He’s not the first heartbroken singer trying to convince himself and the listener that he’s moved on. But Summers’ poignant offering compares favorably with standouts like the often overlooked Bob Dylan gem “Most of the Time.” Keep Your Eyes Ahead comes out Tues., Jan. 29.

3.5 stars

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