Homeshake "Helium" Review
By: Ian Karp
Montreal-based indie pop project HOMESHAKE released their fourth album in February. “Helium” is an itinerant excursion through Peter Sagar’s lonely musings of camp aesthetic recordings. Sagar sends ricochets of muffled harmonies into an amiable breeze as he describes wandering through conflicting emotions. But as much as the lyrics emphasize an indecisive longing for the comfort and solitude of elsewhere, “Helium” showcases a sanguine composure and resonance in Sagar’s music.
Some listeners may find the spacious percussion and lo-fi nonchalance of the album a blasé rendition of choice tracks found in HOMESHAKE’s catalogue. The airiness of “Anything at All” elicits a sense of déjà vu for 2017’s “Wrapping Up,” while the progression of “Another Thing” seems a resigned revamp of 2015’s “Move This Body.” The dribbling of guitar and refrained crescendos of voice are indeed reminiscent of his previous work, while the drawn out euphony of tracks like “All Night Long” and “Other Than” feel like the culmination of seven years of Sagar’s at-home experimentation.
This is not to say that Peter Sagar hasn’t refined HOMESHAKE since its conception in 2012, nor that the project has lost its ingenuity. Rather, “Helium” demonstrates the honed peculiarity of Sagar’s sound, fully embracing the idiosyncrasy embodied in his musical approach. The melodic stumbling and rhythmic hesitations on “Helium” should be a welcome addition to any lo-fi, synth-pop fan’s library.