Beginning the album on a high with the pastoral beauty of "Bless This Morning Year," Kenniff showcases of what he does best: heartbreaking guitar and piano melodies punctuated by crumbling beats and backed by the most atmospheric synthesizer sounds this side of Eno's Apollo. The appetizing "Halving the Compass" blends subtle field recording with the kind of piano melodies so beautiful they could be compared to Virginia Astley or Harold Budd. This is followed by the album's clear highlight, "Dragonfly Across an Ancient Sky." It's an unsurpassable folk guitar piece with a decomposing percussive background and the sort of melodies that would turn evil tyrants into weeping babies. An album that could appeal as easily to fans of Nick Drake as to fans of Boards of Canada or even early AIR, this truly has something for everyone.
Raised in rural Pennsylvania, Kenniff put out Helios's 2004 debut album, Unomia, while studying percussion at Boston's Berklee College of Music. Since then, he's released six more albums as Helios, in addition to collaborating with his wife Hollie Kenniff in the shoegaze-inspired pop duo Mint Julep and composing music for films and archival use.