The Helio Sequence celebrate ten years of experimental pop with a deluxe reissue of Keep Your Eyes Ahead | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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The Helio Sequence celebrate ten years of experimental pop with a deluxe reissue of Keep Your Eyes Ahead

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The Helio Sequence, formed in 1999 by Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel, in Beaverton, Oregon, have spent the past two decades pushing the boundaries of indie-pop. The duo’s first handful of releases walk the line between digital and organic, their songs boiling over with layers of bubbly synth, bright guitars, and harsh static. They’re the type of records you can get lost in, like shoegaze rock for a new era. But starting with 2008’s Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Sub Pop), the Helio Sequence have given themselves more breathing room—while still surreal and challenging, the songs on that album rely more on melodic sophistication and structure than on heady ambience and unhinged volume. And for its ten-year anniversary last month, Sub Pop released a deluxe edition that includes demos and alternate takes that offer up a view into how Summers and Weikel first pieced together those complex compositions. Keep Your Eyes Ahead might not be heralded as an indie-rock classic just yet, but revisiting it shows the mark it’s made on the indie-rock world, and just how effortlessly Summers and Weikel mix the poppy and the weird.   v

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