One hundred and ten seconds is not a particularly long time. If you’re being perky and productive, it might be the length of time it takes you to boil a kettle, write a quick e-mail or tidy your desk a little. If you’re having a bad day, it might be the amount of time it takes you to locate your alarm clock after the buzzer terrorizes you awake, struggle to press the ‘stop’ button and go back to sleep again. It will be the amount of time you spend listening to HELEN’s track motorcycle. HELEN is the baby of GROUPER mastermind Liz Harris, along with Jed Bindeman and Scott Simmons, and motorcycle is their brief new single.
Motorcycle swings between melodic crunch and white-noise ambience, opening with a dreamy soundscape before growling into life around the twenty second mark. From that point on it sounds like destabilised shoegaze, a catchy groove buried deep under the fuzz, before the ambience returns for the closing section. It’s an odd song, a sort of Frankenstein’s indie record built from parts of various different genres, but HELEN make it work. Their debut album The Original Faces is out on September 4th on Kranky Records.