No one who listens to a recording of Portland, Ore.'s The Helio Sequence would accuse the band of being a duo. The group's tunes have the thick, layered sound of six men. But, duo it is--drums and guitar. No mas.
For the band's new album, Negotiations, it continues down the path of 2008's Keep Your Eyes Ahead, moving further way from the shimmering layers of futuristic synths that were the hallmarks of its sophomore disc, Young Effectuals. The new album leans toward a less ambient style and is more focused on songwriting than sweeping, swirling psychedelic noise.
Instead of buried vocals and keyboards layered like electronic lasagna, thick reverb fills out the low end with twinkling guitars and the smooth croon of Brandon Summers. It's not the, "OMG, I have no way of explaining this but you have to hear it," sound of the band's early work, but it certainly is more approachable.