Lyricist: Brandon Summers.
Personnel: Brandon Summers (vocals, guitar); Benjamin Weikel (keyboards, drums).
Audio Mixers: Jerimaya Grabher; The Helio Sequence.
Recording information: The Old Jantzen Building, Portland, OR (05/2014-11/2014).
The Helio Sequence -- Brandon Summers on guitar and vocals and Benjamin Weikel on keyboards and percussion -- supposedly wrote and cut the basic tracks for their self-titled sixth album as part of a friendly contest in which they sought to see how many songs they could crank out in a month. One can certainly hear the spontaneity in 2015's The Helio Sequence, which features ten songs that are spare and sleek, boasting streamlined melodies, echoing guitars, and clouds of keyboards that hover over Weikel's insistent rhythms as Summers sings with a measured force that suggests his raspy period is a thing of the past. Much of the time, The Helio Sequence sounds like an experiment in organic electronic pop, with the rigid drum patterns setting the pulse, keys establishing the melodies, and the rest of the instruments serving as texture, though the warmth of Summers' vocals takes some of the chill off tunes like "Battle Lines" and "Upward Mobility," and the duo's pop sensibilities shine through on "Inconsequential Ties" and "Seven Hours." Summers and Weikel's talent and craft are all over The Helio Sequence, especially when one considers these ten songs were culled from a batch of 26 tracks they wrote and recorded in four weeks, showing how the band explored their musical boundaries as they met their self-imposed creative deadlines. ~ Mark Deming