There has been interesting trend in the indie music scene where albums are tied to more than just the music itself. Bands craft albums as a part of a larger multimedia experience or narrative. Following this exciting trend is Biffaut. The band is a bit of a mystery. Considering their latest album was recorded in Colorado Springs I’m going to assume that would be the group’s home base. It appears that leading the charge is Daniel James Eaton. After digging around Eaton is definitely a busy bee who enjoys a communal experience when creating. Biffaut’s new album Helenski is essentially a soundtrack to a concept story which I had the pleasure of reading. The story and album are said to have been symbiotically inspired on another. As a sci-fi fiction writer myself, I LOVE this. The story was full of intrigued and appeal, but what about the music?
The music on this album is a legitimate source of entertainment that stands on its own. I first listened to the album before I read the concept story, and the narrative is incredibly rich without anything else behind it. I listened again after reading the story and everything thickened up. I was able to conjure riveting visuals from the story and truly transport myself. The music is a fluid brew of dream pop, jazz and indie rock. It’s utterly fantastic. There is a solid miasma of dankness the permeates everything, giving the listener that noir film feel.
All songs are written by Eaton and he also provides the vocals which are in a lovely high range. Since the music fluctuates pretty frequently the best thing to do is keep an ear out for Alex Koshak’s drums. There are hints thrown into the percussion that let you know what’s coming. When it comes to the jazzier bits there is nothing cooler at that moment than Daniel Mikolajczyk’s bass. Mitch Macura is on the keyboard and adds the synth element which brings a big inter-dimensional sci-fi element to the whole thing.
Everything was recorded by Adam Hawkins at Right Heel Music in Colorado Springs. However the vocals and overdubs were done by Eaton himself who had a very specific vision for how he wanted that to go. Hawkins and Eaton’s methods blended well together. I can see where Eaton really wanted to create a noir effect with how he handled his vocals. It sounds as though Eaton is singing from some undisclosed location that could be in space or a bunker underground. There’s something haunting about it that contributes to the unique wavelength of the music.
I really like this album. Again you have the option of diving deeper into the universe or not. As I said, the music stands on its own. It’s very cool and innovative. I think if you’re a sci-fi or anime fan, you’d definitely be into this album. This coming from an avid sci-fi and anime fan. Helenski is such an enchanting brew of genres I think anyone looking for something atmospheric and intriguing could get on board.
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