We’ve been away for a while lost in the dreamland of the real world. Apologies.
As I’ve been skating through life, one track that’s come across my radar has been a little offering from London’s Still Corners. Set to debut sophomore LP Strange Pleasures, the Sub Pop-signed project of Greg Hughes feeds off of 1980’s synth pop influences to produce gems like “Berlin Lovers.” With a video set to a retro roller rink, the teaser to the group’s second album is Grimes’ lovechild with Victoria Legrand, pumping a heavy synth over the wafting vocals of singer Tessa Murray. It’s dreamy–enough to take you away from the dullness of daily routine.
Islands' singer, dude that drums in a lot of bands, guy with the same name twice, MICHAEL CERA? (Photo courtesy of blogs.ocweekly.com)
Those attending shows at the most recent Passion Pit tour may have noticed openers Mister Heavenly, also known as “that one band with Michael Cera in it.” Yet for those able to look past the 90-pound actor on bass, the newly formed rock group has enough indie star power in its own right. Led by Islands’ frontman, Nick Thorburn, Mister Heavenly also features Modest Mouse’s (and The Shins’) Joe Plummer, Man Man’s Honus Honus and the lovable Cera as a touring bass player.
Of course, as The Helio Sequence have come to realize, the reverse is just as true: If it’s broke, you better damn well fix it.
It’s an approach to their music cultivated out of the Portland duo’s 2005 dilemma. Fresh off of 2004 release, Love and Distance, and tours with the likes of Modest Mouse, Blonde Redhead and Kings of Leon, The Helio Sequence–composed of Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel– was poised to become Sub Pop’s newest eclectic darling. Cue crisis.
While on tour, guitarist and lead singer, Brandon Summers began to realize that his vocal cords were unable to keep up with the band’s frenetic pace and by early the next year a doctor advised him to take a hiatus from singing. But for a band on the rise, the diagnosis while alarming, wasn’t acceptable. Instead of turning into the newest post-rock duo, The Helio Sequence tried something new, with Summers beginning extensive oral exercises to change his vocal execution.