Homeshake
Helium

by Jim Di Gioia

March 12, 2019

Homeshake’s airy R’n’B is ready to break out of the bedroom and start taking up more space.

Even though Pete Sagar, the singular musician behind Homeshake, makes his music alone at home, Helium sounds like it was conjured while lying down face up in a wide-open meadow on a warm, sunny day. Each track, whether it’s a wispy interlude or a fully-formed groove, floats into and out of your field of vision like cumulus clouds, each building on the same foundations as the last but taking on its own unique form and shape.

While much of Helium hums along to midnight grooves (“All Night Long” in particular, sounds like the kind of song that wouldn’t get out of bed until the sun’s gone down), Sagar’s latest set of tunes has a decidedly sunny disposition that works as well in the AM as it does the PM. “Early” is a minimalist opener, abstract and somewhat formless. Its intermittent chiming ring sounds like the universal signal for a new idea or a tallying of daydreams. Slowly, “Early” morphs from its free-form, indeterminate state into the kitty-grooming-itself-shaped slinkiness of “Anything At All”. Sagar’s sanguine voice, often barely above a whisper, is soothing and unfussy. His tone is so oddly calming you’d swear he’s slightly over-medicated. Buoyed by a bouncy R’n’B rhythm, “Nothing Could Be Better” billows around Sagar like a cloud ballerina in mid-pirouette.

Before Helium floats away into the ether, Homeshake offers up one final surreal, celestial formation in the form of an untitled secret track. Its hypnotic rhythm and confident allure suggest that Sagar and Homeshake are drifting into further into ambient, atmospheric skies. Whether you use Helium to soundtrack late-night dalliances or inspire lazy daydreams, one thing is very clear, Homeshake’s airy R’n’B is ready to break out of Sagar’s bedroom and start taking up more space.

Jim Di Gioia

CoFounder at DOMINIONATED
Jim founded the music blog Quick Before It Melts in 2006 and was its principal writer until 2016, when its decade-long run ended 10 years to the day it started. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim currently serves as a Polaris Music Prize jurist and Prism Prize jurist.
Jim Di Gioia

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