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Helene

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Biography

Being born and brought up in a blue-collar neighborhood in North London drove young Helene to seek refuge from urban life's unpleasantries in music. Inspired by her mother's love of the Smiths and similar British groups, Helene began exploring her own musical voice at a very young age. She soon became a staple in the London indie scene, and was even offered a record deal at the age of 15 by famed producer Alan McGee. With less than desirable living conditions at home, the young artist moved to Berlin at 16, and also lived in Israel for a short time. She eventually returned to London to study English, at which time she formed dark alt-country group Barefoot Contessa. The band thrived, recording four albums between their late-'90s inception and their breakup in 2001. Having significantly expanded her base and honed her craft, Helene decided to put her efforts toward a more solo-oriented project, though she kept a group of backing musicians behind her, including guitarist Graham Gargiulo, who was also in Barefoot Contessa. Though still brooding and reflective, Helene's debut, Postcard, drew on a wider variety of musical influences than any of her previous albums. Receiving rave reviews from critics and fans alike, Postcard opened doors to regional touring and was followed up three years later by Routines. Her sophomore album earned Helene invitations to perform internationally, including at the renowned SXSW Festival in 2007. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez
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