Album Review :: helle :: helle

by Paul Carruthers

“Recorded on an Iphone 7 in a bedroom in Southern Winnipeg”, helle delivers a brief, and beautiful offering to the local indie rock scene.

The mysterious helle accomplishes something beautiful with very little. The vocal performance and tone of song writing on each track is reminiscent of acts like Jessica Pratt and Lana Del Rey. The emotion conveyed in her lyrics and performance are melancholic, and when helle reaches into her upper register, the power of her voice resonates in my chest and stirs emotion in me. The only instrument used in the recording is guitar, and is used simply to highlight and provide a landscape for helle to perform over.

Highlights of the 6 track project include “Kaleidoscope,” and “Idiot.” “Idiot” speaks of the shame of betrayal and heartbreak, and the self hatred that can result. The constant repetition of “I’m an idiot” rings in your ears and stays long after you stop listening. The emotive quality in this track is relatable for anyone who has felt ashamed of themselves after a romance turned sour. The pain in this track contrasts with “Kaleidoscope,” which immediately follows it in the track list.

“Kaleidoscope’s” lyrics tell a story of lovers who are connected by fate, “It’s like our love was written in the stars, pulling us closer in each other’s arms…”. The track speaks of the kind of burning love that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, of stars colliding. Helle’s guitar playing provides a perfect backdrop for the performance of the track and compliments her vocals quite well. The vocal performance is not joyful, but seems more commanding, and is grandiose and powerful.

Albums like this are what make me excited about independent music. Seeing how helle could grow and utilize more advanced production is something for any member of the Winnipeg music community to track.

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