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About Helium

A showcase for the elliptical songwriting and knotty guitar playing of Mary Timony, Helium was one of the most captivating bands of indie rock’s flush ’90s. Originally known as Chupa, the band—which also included Shawn King Devlin and Brian Dunton of Dumptruck—rebranded as Helium and debuted with a pair of singles, 1992’s “The American Jean” and 1993's "Hole In the Ground," followed by a woozy EP, Pirate Prude, in 1994. Dunton departed the band shortly after its release, and Polvo guitarist Ash Bowie came in to replace him. Helium’s first full-length, The Dirt of Luck, came out in 1995, and its guitar heroics and metaphor-filled lyrics made it a cult favorite. The Magic City, which followed in 1997, leaned more toward chamber pop. Helium broke up in 1998, and in 2000, Timony began releasing music under her name; she went on to play in other bands like the supergroup WILD FLAG and the punky Ex Hex. To commemorate the 2017 reissue of Helium’s catalog (which included the newly assembled rarities collection Ends With And), Timony, backed by members of the indie-pop band Hospitality, toured as Helium in 2017 and 2018.

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