Homeshake Helium Sinderlyn
Peter Sagar began his solo project Homeshake in 2012 with the idea that he “wouldn’t aim for anything in particular with it”. While this may sound nonchalant, the result was a woozy, lo-fi mixture of quiet R&B and bedroom pop that felt singular yet rough around the edges.
Four albums later, the Canadian artist has carved out his own world: a calm and surreal place full of wonky guitar riffs, narrated in his signature sleepy falsetto. Latest effort Helium is no exception. Sagar continues to speak about the mundanities of daily life with quiet moments and small battles with himself. Relatable lines like “Book is beside my bed/ I’ll probably read my phone instead” are handled with a skilful mix of sadness and calm, tethering his otherworldly atmospheres to places most of us have been.
In album standout Nothing Could Be Better, he hypnotises the listener over a seductive beat before disarming you with the chorus “Nothing could be better/ Better than you”. It’s a love song in disguise, one that feels all the more startling and real for the murk he shrouds it in.
But while Sagar’s unassuming writing is a strength, it can also be his downfall. At times too lackadaisical to find tangible direction, Helium proves an impressive benchmark of what he’s capable of when he’s focused and sharp. But for now it feels like he’s just waking up.