After a four-year silence, the Portland duo The Helio Sequence has their fifth studio album ready, “ Negotations”. The work, which they wrote, recorded and produced themselves, would probably have sounded different if it hadn’t been for a flood. It happened in 2009, when the band was on tour. Their studio flooded, and fortunately, they didn’t lose as much as they might have, since their most valuable devices were either with them or were on high shelves. But the flood forced them to find a new place to work, and chance led them to a space, a former cafeteria located in an old warehouse, which turned out to be twice as large as their previous studio, which was in a building full of rehearsal rooms. This gave them the chance to practice at another pace, working on their music at any time, as there weren’t other bands around them making noise or other neighbours for them to bother; so they decided to experiment more than other times.
Musically, the album is fairly different from its predecessors, as they chose to make a strong bid for vintage instruments to give them a warmer, deeper sound. They describe the process of composition as “more spontaneous, open, and varied”, in part inspired by repeated listen to various works by Roedelius and Manuel Göttsching. The lyrics are said to be inspired by the raw, underestimated romanticism of Frank Sinatra’s “Suicide Albums ”. “A collection of brilliant songs full of reverb that meditate on interior dialogues with solitude, memory, fear, loss, atonement, acceptance, and hope”.
For the moment, they have left us with the tracklist and a trailer to whet our appetites. The album will be out on Sub Pop starting 11th September.