Official Artwork(Photo By HelioS)

The Flying North EP (listen/download)

HelioS reached the final part of his journey a little while back. He released The Flying North EP which details his last days of his first year of college before heading home for the Summer. He describes it as an unexpected yet necessary conclusion to things. It deals with the themes of: death, betrayal, love, departure, and hopeful promises. The project consists of seven total tracks and as per usual was entirely put together by Helio himself. He cites the late Minnie Riperton and Dorothy Dandridge as a couple of sources of inspiration. Dig in after the break to discover how everything pans out.

The finale kicks off with “Descent III.” It’s a slow cheerless number that details the beginning of the demise of HelioS the sun god. The mournful background vocals coupled with the vivid description of his life coming to a close makes for a very striking opener. The listener gets a strong image of the fallen god. It’s a captivating way to kick off the EP. Next, the story dives into the journey of Helio the artist/person. Unfortunately, things aren’t going too well for him either. He vents his frustrations concerning dealing with a certain female in his life by going through the ordeal of returning her camera. He also alludes to the start of the deception part of the tale. It was a creative way to recount the situation as a whole. “House Of Sin” is the record that is next in line. It is the highlight of the EP. It utilizes a sample of “Express” by diva Christina Aguilera from the movie Burlesque. Additionally, it brings a drastic yet welcome change in mood and energy. An uptempo groove takes over as Helio shares his racy encounter with Elly, a new female he’s met who also happens to be involved with a friend of his. He makes excellent use of the sample as he gets caught up in the madness that is bred by succumbing to the lure of temptation.

Once the dust settles, Helio is left to deal with the aftermath. Things get a bit more complicated as Elly informs him that she’s left his friend and wants to now explore something more with him. He tries to make amends with his friend but to no avail. The tragic ordeal plays out to a beat that samples “Minnie’s Lament” by Minnie Riperton. It was an ideal selection as it fits the sad regretful nature of the piece. While the EP starts to wind down, Helio takes the listener through the task of him saying good bye to Elly. He prepares to leave Florida for the Summer and head back home to New Jersey as well. The final songs take on bittersweet tones. It’s always a sad thing to have to leave a situation, especially if there is some type of attachment present. But it’s a wonderful feeling to complete something too. And at this point and time, Helio has successfully survived his first year of college. Not an easy feat to accomplish. The EP closes out with “Descent IV: Non Omnis Moriar” Which in English translates to “Not all of me will die.” It stems from the philosophy that part of an individual survives beyond death. The selection basically just completes the demise of the sun god. All in all, Helio had quite the intriguing and eventful culmination to his school year.

**My Two Cents: The Flying North EP is a fitting conclusion to Helio’s four projects. It was easy to follow and kept the listener’s attention with uncustomary yet worthwhile production and enticing subject matter. Also, I think he used a good balance of both rhyming and singing to deliver the story. And he wrapped everything up nicely. No lingering questions, nothing left unclarified, etc. He made sure that people will walk away satisfied. Those open to a different style of music will find the EP interesting. Traditional music fans maybe not so much. Only way to know for sure is to check it out. Congrats to HelioS on completing his venture and thank you for allowing The Illixer to be a part of it. -MinM