Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Keep Your Eyes Ahead

Photo by Pavlina Honcova-Summers

The Helio Sequence are a Portland-based duo who seek to answer the age-old question, “what happens if you try to cross laptop-based electro-pop with Dylan-esque folkestry and big, Anglo-arena rock moves?” Based on their new record
Keep Your Eyes Ahead, the answer is “Tim Booth fronting Kitchens Of Distinction“.

Eyes couples soaring, anthemic vocals in the vein of the shaggy James frontman with the swirling, sonic grandeur of the underappreciated London dreampop band and wraps it in a sonic sheen that recalls 1980s-era notions of what the future might sound like. In its quieter moments, it steps out of that glistening metropolis and camps out in the woods around a bonfire, acoustic guitar in hand but Magnetic Fields in the heart. On paper, the folk songs shouldn’t hang with the electro-rockers as well as they do but while the shift in aesthetics do seem a bit odd, they never seem wrong – Eyes is a remarkably cohesive record.

The band is kicking off a Western tour later this month taking them through SxSW and will then head over to Europe. Perhaps the eastern half of the continent will be tended to in the Summer. Aversion, Glide, and Oregon Live all have interviews with the band.

MP3: The Helio Sequence – “Keep Your Eyes Ahead”
MySpace: The Helio Sequence

Another outfit that endeavour to make their laptops rock (or pop, as the case may be) is Mobius Band, who are celebrating Valentine’s Day by giving all of you a free downloadable EP of cover songs entitled Love Will Reign Supreme wherein they tackle the likes of Neil Young, The National and Daft Punk. I don’t know if The National was ever meant to sound that… happy… but still better than a box of bon-bons, n’est-ce pas? Grab it here.

MP3: Mobius Band – “Baby, We’ll Be Fine” (National cover)

Wireless Bollinger and The Boston Herald talk to The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt.

The Long Blondes talk to This Is Fake DIY and Gigwise about Couples, due April 8. They’re at Lee’s Palace on May 22.

The Northern Light interviews Peter Hughes of The Mountain Goats while The Anchorage Daily News and Village Voice chat with John Darnielle. Heretic Pride is out next Tuesday.

Pitchfork talks to Mark Linkous about his current projects and life as a card-carrying indie rocker now that Sparklehorse has been released from their deal with Astralwerks.

Good news from defunct bands – the emergence of, a fansite for Lush replete with photos, press clippings and other modes of tribute, means I no longer have to link to their Wikipedia page whenever I namecheck them in a post. Via Largehearted Boy.

And also tidying up their corner of the internet – Final Fantasy has redone his site, though that doesn’t necessarily mean the release of Heartland is any closer. Just that it was time for a fresh coat of paint (via Torontoist). Drowned In Sound caught up with Owen Pallett to inquire about topics such as his European festival, Arctic Monkeying and dancehall alter-ego.

The Cure will release their as yet-untitled next album – have they said this will be their last yet? Or is that game old? – on May 6, giving you ample time before their May 15 show at the Air Canada Centre to decide that no, it’s not as good as Disintegration. Or even Wish. But better than Wild Mood Swings.

I just bought a ticket to see Richard Hawley at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I guess that’s one night’s activities taken care of.

By : Frank Yang at 8:28 am
Category: Uncategorized
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