Reviews

Homeshake
Helium

(Sinderlyn)

7/10

Homeshake’s fourth album doesn’t get off to a strong start. I’ll be honest: I have a problem with instrumental album openers. There’s no need to open your record with a minute and a half of musical noodling. Stick it somewhere in the middle, by all means, but don’t go there right out of the gate. It’s an age old vendetta, so it says a lot that ‘Helium’ easily makes up for this foible.

After the slow open of ‘Early’, ‘Helium’ settles into a dreamlike groove. Montreal musician Peter Sagar read a lot of Murakami between his 2017 record, ‘Fresh Air’, and this one, and it shows. The instrumentation here is surreal and otherworldly, blending synths and sound effects with Sagar’s far-out vocals. And the more effective, lyricless interludes throughout the record heighten the effect, from the blissed-out waterfall sounds of ‘Trudi and Lou’ to the spacey, bizarre ‘Salu Says Hi’. The latter sounds like a pair of alien robots having a conversation, all musical chirps and distorted voices.

On the lyrical front, the album is rooted in the everyday.  ‘Nothing Could Be Better’ is a sweet ode to total romantic contentment, with the narrator not even wanting to blink lest he miss a moment he could be looking into his lover’s eyes. Then there’s lead single ‘Like Mariah’, in which Sagar daydreams about the way life could be if only he could sing like… Mariah Carey, obviously. Who hasn’t entertained that particular fantasy on occasion? With his new record, though, it’s fair to say that Homeshake doesn’t need to master those vocal acrobatics. ‘Helium’ floats without them.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.