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Dinked Edition

PREORDER NOW! Released: 15.02.2019

Homeshake – Helium (DINKED EDITION)

£17.99

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Product Description

 When you walk alone, you’re never lost. At least, that’s the operating principle behind Homeshake,

the recording project of Peter Sagar. Over his first three albums, Sagar followed his own idiosyncratic

vision, a journey that’s taken him from sturdy guitar-based indie-pop to, on 2017’s Fresh Air, a blearyeyed

take on lo-fi R&B. Now, with Helium, Sagar is putting down roots in aesthetic territory all his

own. Landscape that he once viewed from a distance now forms the bedrock of his sound, and from

here, he looks back out at the world as if through a light fog, composing songs that feel grounded and

intimate, even as they explore a dispersed feeling of isolation.

It’s a feeling that comes through not only in the gauziness of the production, but also in the

vulnerability of the songs themselves. Sagar began writing Helium shortly after completing Fresh Air,

and in the middle of what he calls a “binge” reading of Haruki Murakami. It’s not hard to picture the

narrator of these songs as a distinctly Murakamian character: He moves through time by himself,

bemused by and insulated from a world he doesn’t quite seem to have been made for. Everyone

Sagar encounters here — including himself — seems to be a step removed from present reality,

whether by technology (“Anything At All”), solitude (“Just Like My”), or sweet fantasy (“Like Mariah”).

The record is stitched together by a series of instrumental interludes, synthesizer explorations whose

haziness adds to the suspicion that this is all an uncanny dream.

Which isn’t to say that Sagar is unmoored in his own world. In fact, much of Helium is the result of

what he calls “a much clearer mental state” than the one he’d experienced shortly following Fresh

Air’s completion. “I had a better idea of the sound that was working for this record and what it was

turning into as I was writing the songs,” he says. That’s owing in part to the album’s genesis. Where

his previous three records were recorded directly to one-inch tape in a local studio, Helium was

recorded and mixed by Sagar alone in his apartment in Montreal’s Little Italy neighborhood between

April and June of this year. Freed of the rigid editing process he’d endured before, he was able to lose

himself in pursuit of tone and texture. “I didn’t have to book time, compete for good hours, wait on

availability. I did a lot of it at home in the middle of the night,” he says. “It made me get more

obsessive about details.”

A budding interest in ambient and experimental music — particularly Visible Cloaks, DJs Paypal and

Rashad, and Jlin — pushed him to tinker with the micro-sounds that surround the songs here. It’s a

process he found creatively invigorating; even the tinkling boom-bap of Young Thug informs “All Night

Long.” It’s a far cry from the chorus-laden guitars of his earlier work. “Ever since I started introducing

synthesizers into my music, I’ve gotten more interested in texture,” he says. “I’d hit a creative dead

end [with guitars], so synths took over.” The warm chords of a Roland Juno 60 form the album’s base,

and gave him a clean palette with which to work. “No tape hiss, no humming power outlets and shitty

mixing boards,” as he puts it. “Everything just came out nice and pure.”

Still, for all the growth it demonstrates, Helium is at its core a singer-songwriter’s record made by

someone who doesn’t feel beholden to any particular set of sounds, textures, or instruments to get his

point across. In that sense, it feels closer to the bone, at once assured of its vision and remarkably

vulnerable. It’s perhaps our purest view yet of Homeshake’s home country.

Tracklisting

 01 Early (1:31)

02 Anything At All (3:02)

03 Like Mariah (3:26)

04 Heartburn (0:36)

05 All Night Long (3:38)

06 Trudi And Lou (1:04)

07 Just Like My (3:28)

08 Nothing Could Be Better (2:52)

09 Other Than (3:33)

10 Salu Says Hi (1:28)

11 Another Thing (2:51)

12 Couch Cushion (2:15)

13 (Secret Track) (3:37)

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