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Ayres

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Album Review

What Helios' previous release on Type lacked in character has been fixed by Ayres, no doubt about it. Eingya featured pleasant and clever quasi post-rock, which this album now turns into delightful electro-folk. It turns out that the previous album was missing only one ingredient: vocals! For the first time here, Keith Kenniff (the man behind the Helios moniker) sings, with a very nice, quiet, and frail voice. The opening track, "A Rising Wind," with its multi-tracked looped vocals and aerial ambience, immediately brings to mind Patrick Watson's sound world (minus the electric guitar) crossed with Brian Eno's. This highly melodic, slow-paced song could also be compared to Low, Barzin, or Uphill Racer. The remainder of the album is somewhat less striking yet quite convincing nonetheless, from the delicate guitar arrangements in "Woods and Gives Away" (where the sleigh bells and treated vocals evoke an unlikely hybrid between the Iditarod and Tujiko Noriko, if you can envision that) to the lulling melody of the waltz-like "The Obeisant Vine." This short album (only a half hour) concludes with a cover of "In Heaven," a song from David Lynch's cult film Eraserhead. Rounding out such a short album with someone else's song could be construed as a sign of weakness, but it actually fits the record's overall atmosphere so well that Kenniff could have you think it's one of his own pieces. Eingya felt like a beautiful country house decorated with subtle taste. With Ayres, that house is now inhabited. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Biography

Born: Massachusetts

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Boston-based ambient indie electronic artist Helios is Keith Kenniff, a Berklee College of Music student who has also gone under the moniker Goldmund. As Helios, his recordings include Unomia (2004), Eingya (2006), and in September 2007 a mini-album that for the first time featured Kenniff's fragile...
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Ayres, Helios
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