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The Helio Sequence: Out of Silence

Back in January, The Helio Sequence released what will surely be one of 2008's best albums, but fortune hasn't always been so kind to the Oregon duo. Singer Brandon Summers' vocal cords had been severely damaged following the band's last album and tour, to the point where he lost his voice and had to stop talking. In effect, he entered a fortress of silence, and in order to keep from going crazy, he read 60 books in 60 days, beginning with Bob Dylan's Chronicles. His doctor told him he couldn't sing for an extended period of time, so Summers taught himself vocal exercises and microphone technique, and he got serious about his life and music.

"Keep Your Eyes Ahead" and the album of the same name both sound like a man literally finding his voice: They build and they rally. Wrapping shoegazer rock in '60s doo-wop, the song revolves around a passionate plea to maintain focus in the face of long odds. It's the kind of song where you hear it in the car and unwittingly begin driving 90 mph, shouting the words without taking your eyes off the road ahead, even for a second.

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Copyright 2008 KEXP

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John Richards
John Richards is the host and producer of The Morning Show with John on 90.3 FM KEXP Seattle, and online at . He is also KEXP's assistant program director.