• There are currently no videos. Check back soon.
The Helio Sequence

"KEEP YOUR EYES AHEAD" 10 Year Anniversary Tour

The Helio Sequence

Wild Pink

Fri, December 14

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, OR

$26.00

This event is 21 and over

The Helio Sequence
The Helio Sequence
The self-titled sixth album by The Helio Sequence began with a friendly competition. Several of the duo’s friends within the Portland, Oregon music scene had been playing “The 20-Song Game.” The rules were simple, playful and ambitious: Songwriters would arrive in their studios at prearranged times and spend all day recording 20 complete songs. When they were finished, they’d have a party, listen to the results and talk about the process—of taking the good with the bad, of letting creativity push past constraint, of simply making music in the moment. Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel took the spirit of the “The 20-Song Game” to heart, and forged ahead writing a new record.

“Negotiations was a very long, introspective process,” remembers Summers of the band’s 2012 Sub Pop LP. “We shut ourselves off from the world and disappeared down the rabbit hole. That’s how we tend to work, but we wanted to try something new, open and immediate.”

In a sense, The Helio Sequence had spent their whole career preparing for this record. They’d sunk entire recording advances into studio purchases, collaborating with local engineers to build custom gear and a space where they could blend high fidelity with kaleidoscopic sound. In 2013, the pair took on their first full-scale production project, the Brazilian rock band Quarto Negro, after the group inquired about their space and availability through Facebook. As producers, they’d remixed Shabazz Palaces, picked up mixing sessions with Portland acts and earned representation from Global Positioning Services. Summers and Weikel discovered just how adaptable and powerful their studio could be.

In May of 2014, inspired by the “20-Song Game”, they began arriving each morning in their Portland space—housed in the cafeteria and break room of an old warehouse— with the mission of making as much music as possible in one month. They began exploring and capturing, recording guitar riffs and keyboard loops, drum patterns and bass lines. One piece documented, they quickly advanced to the next idea. Summers and Weikel didn’t discuss what they were making or the reference points that informed it, though such discussions had once been central to The Helio Sequence’s more self-conscious process. They just played. Created. In time, they returned to each fragment, broadcasting it over the studio PA, jamming and recording the results. Mistakes didn’t matter, and second chances didn’t exist. After two weeks, Summers and Weikel began cutting those loose takes into rough shapes, steadily building songs from their cavalier sketches.

Although making records can be a laborious and tedious process, Summers delights in the memory of making this one.

“We were coming to the studio on these sunny mornings everyday with an open mind,” Summers shares. “We said, ‘I’m just going to do what feels good in the moment.”

“We worked so quickly that there was a running optimism,” he continues. “There’s this sense of striving for perfection where you can actually take momentum away. But we wanted this record to be momentum in and of itself.”

When June arrived, the duo gathered their 26 finished songs and sent them to 31 friends, fans and family members. They asked each person to rank their 10 favorite tracks. By summer’s end, they had arrived at the brisk 10 tracks that shape the breathless and magnetic The Helio Sequence—a record so named because it’s a kind of clean restart for the longtime pair, a revamp of their process and a revitalization of their results.

The Helio Sequence is a renewed push forward for the band: From the cool wallop of “Deuces,” where guitars snarl and harmonies soar, to the stuttering anxiety of “Upward Mobility”, where pianos pound and drums race, this collection depends upon an effortless kinetic energy. Lyrically, “Stoic Resemblance” is a study of existential anxiety, but musically, it’s a beguiling burst of pop, Summers’ vocals rising over and sliding off of Weikel’s big, irrepressible beat. The bittersweet “Leave or Be Yours” evokes the easy twinkle of romance and the smoldering sadness of losing it. Crisscrossing vocals and cross-talking guitars and drums map a broad swirl of emotions.

With its easy acoustic jangle, “Inconsequential Ties” might be one of the most surprising, light moments within the bombastic Helio Sequence catalog. But considered within the band’s history, it points to the pop that’s bound Summers and Weikel for so long. Indeed, there’s a delightful candor to The Helio Sequence, an openness that is a rare and special feat for a band about to enter its third decade.

“It’s less about curating yourself or trying to put yourself across how you want to be perceived,” says Summers. “It’s about having a conversation with people and giving them something that’s who you are.”
Wild Pink
Wild Pink
Wild Pink released their debut EP, Good Life, in the Summer of 2015. It was a brief but memorable introduction to the band's brand of introspective indie pop/rock. After numerous tours in support of Good Life the band hunkered down with Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Speedy Ortiz, Kindling, Sweet John Bloom) to record new songs. What grew from those sessions was actually two new releases. First and foremost, the band's debut LP, slated for release in early 2017 on Tiny Engines. But also, 4 Songs, a supplemental EP out this October, that serves to bridge the gap between releases as the band grows more expansive in their sound and ambitious in their songwriting.

Wild Pink are one of those wonderfully rare bands that sounds instantly familiar upon first listen. Yet trying to draw parallels to their influences or similar bands proves to be incredibly difficult. That remains the same as Wild Pink continue to chart their own unique course. These new songs move at their own intentional pace while the band fleshes their arrangements out further. Yet the songs never suffer, only growing more dynamic and more propulsive with this increased nuance. Wild Pink doesn't lose the warm intimacy that made the band special, it's only enhanced to a greater degree here. These are deeply personal songs about freedom, or lack thereof, about growing up and leaving your youth behind yet still clinging to those sacred scars that we hold dear. Often exercising a stream of conscious lyrical style, Wild Pink has a remarkable way of transporting you to those moments in time where the smallest detail remains etched into your being. There is a sincerity that echoes throughout these songs that is intoxicating and speaks to what makes the band so special. Wild Pink choose the road less traveled and it has served them well.