Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Every Friday, we present a song by a Northwest artist. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters is “October” by Beaverton, Oregon’s The Helio Sequence from their forthcoming album, Negotiations, on Sub Pop.
Formed in 1999, the duo of Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel have been creating atmosphere-intensive jams for over a decade now. Their third album for Sub Pop and fifth overall, Negotiations was recorded after a 2009 flood that damaged their practice space/studio in Portland. After finding a new space that allowed the duo to work late into the night without bothering anyone nearby, the pair took advantage of their new home and wrote, recorded, and produced Negotiations at their own pace. The second track on the album, “October” is a strong return from the duo that shows that they haven’t gained any rust in their time away. Weikel’s steady drumming commands the song’s tempo as it ebbs and flows with Summers’ echoing voice and shimmering guitar. As the track reaches a peak in its spacious tension, Summers sings “In a perfect world, there would be no divide/In a perfect world, we could both open up and see the other side”. Direct and emotive, “October” plays to all of the bands’ strengths and signifies that the flood may have been the best thing that has happened to the band in quite some time.
The Helio Sequence will play this year’s Bumbershoot Festival on September 1st and Musicfest NW the following weekend. If you’re interested in seeing the songs on Negotiations make their live debut, you can get still tickets for Bumbershoot here and MFNW here. And, you can listen to them LIVE on KEXP on September 11 at 9:30am. Until then, watch a promo video for Negotiations: