Essential Aliens is the 10th Helvetia album.
Helvetia is the solo project of Jason Albertini from Duster. The songs on Essential Aliens were recorded over the last year in Jason’s basement. Helvetia resides in Portland, Oregon but was formed in Seattle, Washington in 2005 after Duster first went on hiatus.
Since the band’s inception, Jason has continued to employ a rotating cast of band members and collaborators, which now includes Steve Gere and Samantha Stidham. Steve and Jason also played in Built To Spill together from 2012 until 2018. In 2019 Duster started playing shows and recording again. During this time Jason started writing what would become This Devastating Map–released in August 2020, Post-Trash called it “a constantly shifting project that takes experimental lo-fi into brilliantly colored psych directions with a concise glow.” Then the pandemic took hold. With normal life at a standstill and unable to hang with his bandmates, Jason focused his energy on his daughter’s homeschooling schedule, and recording. He focused on finishing one song a day and was soon honing in on a new album.