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‘Keep Your Eyes’ on the Helio Sequence

Sub Pop stalwarts the Helio Sequence have always been masters ofatmosphere, no stranger to the epic and echoed build-up. While thegroup stays grounded in pop songwriting, their music absorbs a demureand warm ambiance from soft keyboard textures, loose guitar lines andgentle but eerie, emotive vocals. Sounding polished and radiant on thistitle track from their upcoming fourth full-length, the Helio Sequencehas perfected the art of rise and fall.

“Keep Your Eyes Ahead”begins as a swiftly flowing number with a purpose, band’svocalist/guitarist Brandon Summers spilling supportive direction in awash of reverb — “Get your head on right,” he urges. Particulardetails, like those about “high-top shoes” and walking home fromschool, help to color a vivid piece as the song teeters between commandand plea. Yet as the drums get a little snappier and the guitars turn abit grimy, a humming and ambient murmur begins tugging from alldirections, threatening to scramble the track into oblivion. As thewhirling climax builds, ethereal chants intertwine, drowning in sound.But it’s the way the Helio Sequence right themselves from the dramaticswirl and put the scattered pieces together again that’s mostimpressive — a true display of precision and poise. Keep Your Eyes Ahead drops Jan. 29 via Sub Pop. JOSEPH COSCARELLI

Now Hear This:
The Helio Sequence – “Keep Your Eyes Ahead” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
The Helio Sequence at MySpace

Talk: Will you ‘keep your eyes’ on the Helio Sequence while they get ‘ahead’?