“Ayres” by Helios
The follow-up to the world beating 'Eingya' is this six track mini album, where Keith Kenniff discovers his voice.
It hasn’t been long since Keith Kenniff’s gorgeous collection of gauzy, cinematic sound-poems ‘Eingya’ slipped into the consciousness. In a short space of time the Boston based multi-instrumentalist has become awash with acclaim and been invited to perform numerous live dates around Europe, something which gave life and inspiration to this latest collection of work. Those who managed to catch him on the most recent tour will already be aware that Keith has just taken up his most breathtaking instrument yet – his voice, and ‘Ayres’ is his first exploration of this new-found talent. ‘Eingya’ managed with the simplest of means to show just how crushing Keith’s songwriting was, but here he pieces together five gorgeous ‘songs’ and one inspired cover with devastating results.
Combining his many musical loves, Keith manages somehow to bring in the warring elements of indie-pop, experimental electronics, folk and world music resulting in a sound which is distinctly his own; these might be songs in the traditional sense, but there’s little traditional about the way they have been produced. Decaying synthesizer sounds trip up over carefully strummed guitars and expertly carved percussion – take opening track ‘A Rising Wind’ which is maybe the most effortless display of Keith’s talents; this is a slow burning epic, beginning with the simplest of sound-palettes and growing into a jubilant dream-pop masterpiece. Elsewhere, standout track ‘The Obeisant Vine’ blends the hazy nostalgic electronics of the Brian Eno with the songwriting heart of the Innocence Mission leaving you gasping for more. By the time the mini-album ends with a cover of ‘In Heaven’, ‘that’ song from David Lynch’s seminal ‘Eraserhead’, you realize you have spent half an hour in Helios’s world, and it’s a world you’ll want to escape to again and again.