As clear as glass, the opening, melodic set of notes gives Yume the gentle take-off it needs. It’s a golden place, one of light, breezy electronics and wind-swept melodies. A pair of delectable notes reverse in on themselves as they float around you, like butterflies with quavers for wings fluttering back to their cocoons. Yume is the sound of healthy vitality. The brighter strings of an acoustic guitar join the optimistic ensemble as the higher notes are plucked freely. It lights up every part of the register’s rainbow.

Yume is the Japanese word for ‘dream’, but the bright nature of the music isn’t so sleepy. Helios wants the sun to stay around for a little longer; it won’t go down yet. Ambient music such as this comes naturally to Keith Kenniff. As Helios, and even as one half of Mint Julep, his music is a warm afterglow, touching ever-so-gently the face of the music. Slow progressions that drip with warmth are the order of the day, and they ooze out a complete feeling of serenity. In ‘It Was Warmer Then’, a shiny melody sits alone, washed in the pale light of autumn. A quivering synth sheds its skin and loses its original pitch as it settles down into a new life. The steady beat is appropriately soft and enhances the mood when it could so easily have let the ambient layer peel away. It’s a mellow craft.

‘Sonora Lac’ stirs itself in the depths, waking up from a warm slumber. ‘Pearls’ is just as gorgeous; thin, assorted melodies are chained to a clipped, thumping rhythm, hanging like a glowing piece of jewellery that’s been laced together by loving hands. It’s a present for a special someone. The music walks along quiet sidewalks lit by the dusk of an evening sun. You can feel the glow. Softer, sonorous sections gently build by way of a piano or a guitar melody. Like a sliver of pregnant light that eventually gives birth to a stunning ray, the music rises and swells, growing brighter and stronger with every passing second. And before you know it, you’re standing in the midst of its everlasting beauty.

If you want to revisit those safe havens that have now run into disrepair, most notably those old feelings of peace, contentment and acceptance, come here. Suddenly, as the door opens, you don’t feel so alone anymore. The music’s densely packed without ever feeling cluttered. There’s a lot going on in the mix, but it all gels together – just as you knew it would. It’s music that’ll make you sigh and smile, music that’ll bring you back from the brink with its glinting gemstones. That’s a promise.


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