Helios is the downtempo/ambient electronic project of Keith Kenniff, a multi-talented composer also known for his neo-classical work as Goldmund. His recordings as Helios typically mix moody synthesizer textures and slow, glitchy beats with fragile melodies played on pianos, guitars, and other acoustic instruments. After establishing the Helios sound and gaining a cult following for his early releases, particularly 2006's Eingya, Kenniff became an in-demand composer for film, television, and advertising. He remained prolific, regularly issuing albums as both Helios and Goldmund, in addition to making shoegaze/indie pop along with his wife, Hollie Kenniff, as Mint Julep. Following 2008's Caesura, much of Helios' albums were issued by Kenniff's own Unseen Records, including 2010's Unleft and 2015's Yume. In 2018, Helios moved to Ghostly International and released the ambient full-length Veriditas.
Keith Kenniff was raised in rural Pennsylvania, where he learned to play drums, guitar, and bass. He began playing piano while studying percussion at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and began recording music as Helios in 2001. After posting some of his music on his blog, he released his debut album, Unomia, on IDM label Merck in 2004. He issued solo piano music as Goldmund on the Type label the following year, and his downtempo work as Helios appeared on the label starting with 2006's Eingya. The release became a hit among fans of downtempo electronic acts like Boards of Canada and Tycho, and was followed by 2007's mini-album Ayres, the only Helios release to spotlight Kenniff's wistful vocals. The more beat-driven Caesura, Helios' final Type release, appeared in 2008.
Unleft, a collection of previously unreleased pieces, was self-issued on Kenniff's Unseen Records in 2010, as was Live at the Triple Door. Ambient mini-album Moiety was digitally released in 2012, and Remixed followed later in the year. While Kenniff spent much of the next few years raising his son, he resumed work as Helios with 2015's Yume, which was followed by 2016 EP Remembrance. Helios' next full-length, 2018's Veriditas, marked the project's first appearance on Ghostly International (although the label had previously issued a Goldmund track on the SMM: Context compilation). ~ Paul Simpson