New Music Monday, February 18th: Helium

Image courtesy of Genius

Review by Jennifer Katz

Every week, the writing team at B-SIDE highlights new or old music you should be listening to—welcome to our first installment!

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On Friday, February 15th, Homeshake released their new album Helium. Homeshake is the moniker for the solo music project of 28-year-old Canadian musician and songwriter Peter Sagar, who previously toured as a guitarist in Mac Demarco’s live band. Unlike his previous three studio-produced albums, Helium was created independently by Sagar in his Montreal apartment. While the quality has not diminished, this album showcases a stripped-down side of Sagar’s music, revealing Sagar’s talent even without his guitar.

Helium comes after months of build-up, following the release of four teasing singles and two mind-bending music videos. One highlight from that batch was the single "Nothing Could Better," a romantic ballad texturized with a pulsating synth and equipped with an aesthetic visual animation of dancing humanoid shapes. The album includes numerous instrumental interludes, which allows for the seamless transition between the 13 tracks, making the 33 minutes quickly pass by if you aren’t paying close attention. The airy, ethereal beats pull you into a vortex, suspending you in an encompassing time-warp as if you’ve just inhaled helium. It took several listens to fully appreciate what Sagar masters with this album—ambient bliss best suited for the idle-state.