Jason Albertini plays bass for indie rock stalwarts Built To Spill, but his music as Helvetia (pronounced “hell-VEE-shuh”) is smaller and odder. He takes cues from psychedelia, but Helvetia’s records never sound like ’60s throwbacks. They sit outside an identifiable time frame, little lo-fi messages in bottles that Albertini casts from his home in Portland.
Helvetia’s new LP Dromomania (out October 2) had a rough road. Albertini lost an album’s worth of recordings to computer problems, only to finally recover the old songs after completing a new version of Dromomania (the special edition of the record comes with both versions). Fittingly, it sounds like there’s a ghost in the machine on the first single “A Dot Running For The Dust.” A whirring melody hums in the background of Helvetia’s DIY psychedelia, recalling Grandaddy’s mix of analog warmth and electronic disconnection. Download the song below.