Hailing from Beavertown, Oregon, singer guitarist Brandon Summers and drummer-keyboardist Benjamin Weikel started playing together in 1996. Three years later, the duo self-produced their first EP and officially formed The Helio Sequence. After years of crafting their musical style, the duo garnered a significant amount of recognition with the success of Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Sub Pop Records).
The album, which was released in early January, peaked at #22 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. Sampling sounds from a well known video game, Super Mario Bros., in the context of the duo’s lustrous, emotional style, Keep Your Eyes Ahead received critical acclaim.
As the duo gained respect in the music world, they began touring nationally. While on tour in 2009, the duo received a phone informing them that their recording studio in Portland, Oregon had been totally inundated by heavy rains. With this tragic news, the band set out to find a new practice space. It was several months before they settled on a new location, which influenced the structure and the style of the duo’s fifth full-length album Negotiations (Sub Pop Records). This album, which was written, recorded and produced by just Summers and Weikel, was released in 2012. Both bandmates believe that the loss of their studio impacted the sound of Negotiations. Listen to this session to hear the band play live and talk about the making of the album.