Skateboarding down the tranquil streets of my neighborhood, I notice everything around me passing in a blur. The late afternoon sun beams down on my face, giving me vibes of the summertime as Homeshake’s fourth album, ‘Helium,’ plays through my earphones—filling my head with indie and alternative sounds.

Homeshake is a solo musical project of Montreal singer and songwriter, Peter Sagar, who left Mac Demarco’s band in 2014. However, Sagar has been focusing on this project ever since 2012 and recruited numerous artists to expand the band. Homeshake is comprised of Mark Goetz, Greg Napier and Brad Loughead who all came from different musical backgrounds.

As Sagar was a member of Demarco’s band, Homeshake’s music is reminiscent to some of his tracks in the sense of instrumentals. Throughout the album, Homeshake uses an abundance of electronically produced chords. Demarco also uses numerous electronic sounds as well as simple drum beats to create his laid-back tunes. In ‘Like Maria,’ the distinct plucks of a bass guitar, drenched in reverb, can be heard in the background of a simple chord progression, causing me to reminisce about times I spent at the beach back home in Hawaii. 

Listening to the album, I notice that a majority of the tracks include a lengthy intro saturated in acoustic guitar riffs accompanied by an electric piano. Some of the songs on the album exclude lyrics, which gave me a sense of emptiness. I was longing for Sagar’s easy-going voice; however, the serene instrumentals made up for the calm aura that I was looking for.

My favorite track in the compilation is ‘Nothing Could Be Better.’ Sagar’s high-pitched voice co-mingles hand-in-hand with the electronically produced instrumentals, like it’s food for my ears, feeding them with harmonious vocals and elegant chords.

Although I’m in love with the majority of the songs, I’m still not satisfied with the amount of actual singing on the album as a whole. The extended introductions made me anxious, waiting for some sort of voice to pop in at any given moment. However, if you don’t mind lengthy periods of soothing instrumentals and falsetto vocals, you may want to give ‘Helium’ a try.

What type of music do you listen to when you study?