Helium is the whopping fourth full-length Peter Sagar’s released since leaving his post as guitarist for Mac Demarco’s touring band in 2014. The record sports more synths, keyboards and drum machines than any previous Homeshake album, demonstrating Sagar’s resilience as a songwriter with decreased reliance on his main instrument. Anyone already familiar with Sagar’s music - or Macky’s slack indie pop, even - will find slipping into Helium’s rich, hypercolor grooves quite effortless. Like the album title suggests, it’s a bit like experiencing familiar strains of smooth jazz, pop and R&B while sucking on a giant balloon, with sugary melodies inspired by Young Thug and modernist lyrics inspired by Haruki Murakami’s surrealism. Riding the sparse saltwater trap of “Anything At All,” Sagar recites millennial credos like “Everyone I know / lives in my cell phone” and “I should probably put this down / I don’t need a thing right now” with a single detuned snare pulling double duty for an absentee kick drum and a bassline that only surfaces during the hook. Next, on lead single “Like Mariah,” a big cartoony MIDI slap bass straight out of Dean Blunt’s book propels Sagar's crooning in trademark Mimi falsetto style. “Nothing Could Be Better,” “Just Like My,” “Other Than,” “(Secret Track)” and the vintage Triple 6 vibes of “All Night Long” are also in heavy rotation here in the Lab office. Comes with download code and printed insert, recommended.
- black vinyl pressing
- printed insert
- digital download included
- music label: Sinderlyn 2019
reviewed by winston wolf 02/2019