It should never be a wonder how much we're all keeping to ourselves. It should never be a wonder how easily someone could snap and be a completely different person. It's all that anyone can do to hold himself or herself together, under the conditions that they're presented. We fortify all of our most tender parts, but to protect them absolutely, we would be sacrificing our nimbleness, our flexibility and to deny oneself all possible vulnerability isn't really much of a living. It's passable, but that's about it. There needs to be that chance that something or someone can get through the thick insulation and closer to some place scary. The name of the newest album by The Helio Sequence, "Negotiations," is a word that means different things to everyone - a word that actually means different things to two people involved in the same one. Negotiations are nothing but compromises and even if everyone's relatively pleased with the middle ground that's reached at the end of them, everyone lost a little. It might be a bummer of a way to think about them, but there's no denying the amount of truth that's in the thought that we're all giving up something in any of the negotiations that we carry out. Brandon Summers sings, on the title track:"Heartache one more chance for youAll those things in the days beforeMemory leaving what you knewFormer times how they follow youStreetlights fall on hollow nightYou see up ahead what could beNo more mysteries no more penaltiesShake my hand look right through meNo more false promisesMake your stand againTake these rings these subtle thingsall those things we plannedGo once more down that roadTake the easy wayJust one more time say those wordsWake me oh so softly." Summers and drummer/keyboardist Benjamin Weikel make these negotiations sound as if they're coming to us out of a modest summer burn off. It feels like these moments are taking place in that overlapping part of the year, when the natural heat has given way to a heat that's made by wood and hands. These are fires created for purposes and these songs are the remnants of hollow nights and soft touches.