“Motorcycle”, by Portland, OR denizen Liz Harris’s recording project Helen which also features Jed Bindeman of Eternal Tapestry and Scott Simmons is a fascinating fusion of electronic music, punk rock, and even bits of medieval influenced melody. The song which will be on Helen’s debut album “The Original Faces” on September 4th 2015 on Kranky Records manages to find a way to become exhilarating yet also somehow stay dreamy, ambient, and relaxing.
“Motorcycle” in a way is very much a straight up punk rock song in terms of song structure and chord progression, yet the outer spacey atmosphere of the Gregorian chant-like vocals that seem to keep in the back instead of being at the forefront like vocals usually are as well as the other swirling ambient background sounds keep it from being as driving of a song and instead makes you feel as though you are moving at high velocity through time and space. You would think that the two such drastically different styles would struggle against one another, but they surprisingly blend together well and create a whole new style of music that is more than just the sum of its parts.
The album was recorded over the span of several years in Portland. According to a press release, Helen was “originally started with the intention of being a thrash band,” but obviously that’s not the outcome.