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The Clever North Wind

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Album Review

The debut album by Helvetia is the sort of album that makes pretentious record reviewers give themselves paper cuts while thumbing through their thesauri looking for multiple synonyms of "trippy." However, while The Clever North Wind has its psychedelic moments, this is not yet another slab of sub-Flaming Lips neo-space rock: the core duo of Jason Albertini and Canaan Dove Amber (both formerly of Duster) puts all of the album's atmospheric doodling and cool sounds in the service of smart, well-written songs with memorable tunes and even the occasional catchy chorus. The epic grooves of Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized are an obvious touchstone, but so are the clever pop songs of the High Llamas or Loud Family on tracks like "Beezlebub (Leave Me Be)" and "A Wild One," which are every bit as inviting as Neu!-style churning drones like "Dusty Rue." The Clever North Wind is as melodic as it is hypnotic.


Formed: 2005 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Spacy indie rock group Helvetia were formed in Seattle in the mid-2000s by Jason Albertini and Canaan Dove Amber. Both had previously played together in the San Jose-based experimental group Duster, and their early efforts with Helvetia seemed a logical evolution of that band's boundary-pushing ideals. They made their debut in 2006 with The Clever North Wind on former Duster member Clay Parton's Static Cult label. They followed it up with The Acrobats (2008) and Headless Machine of the Heart (2009),...
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The Clever North Wind, Helvetia
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