Helen – The Original Faces
What happens when you invite a well-worshipped ambient artist to front your usually sky-scraping psychedelic band? Well in this case you get Helen’s debut album The Original Faces is what… courtesy of Kranky records.
Liz Harris aka Grouper joins members of Portland, Oregon’s Eternal Tapestry (aided and abetted by a few and sundry friends) to produce a dreamy mash of sound that transports us back to the mid-90s heyday of shoegaze dominance. Harris’s musical fingerprint is remarkably visible despite the atypically revved up settings for the songs she and co-writer Scott Simmons’s proposed. It’s a mix of sunshiny melodies and foggy atmospherics adding up to lots of moody fun.
Fans of bands from the aforementioned period (i.e. My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, etc), or devotees of more contemporary offerings from labels like Slumberland and Captured Tracks, are sure to find riches in this debut album.