In 2013, Mac Demarco’s guitarist disappeared from the stage. Montreal-based songwriter and musician Peter Sagar, an indie rock prince, left Demarco to focus on HOMESHAKE, his solo music project. Influenced by R&B, smooth soul and the lo-fi aesthetic, Sagar released a new album on Feb. 3, surprising HOMESHAKE aficionados with a breath of “Fresh Air.”
Critics of HOMESHAKE claim that the tracks on “Fresh Air” blend into one another monotonously, but Sagar’s ability to seamlessly transition from song-to-song contributes to the fluidity of “Fresh Air.” The album’s first track, “Hello Welcome,” is just a minute and four seconds of instrumental music, but smoothly transitions into the second track, “Call Me Up” without a split-second of silence. The conclusion of “Timing,” one of his more synthetic songs, includes electronic sounds that perfectly compliment the title of the next track, “TV Volume.” Sagar adopted a calculated attitude as he pieced together “Fresh Air,” a level of care and deliberation that is unique in today’s profit-obsessed music world.
The tracks of “Fresh Air” are filled with different sounds and instruments, allowing HOMESHAKE to set the mood for almost any environment. In “So She,” listeners are blessed with the sound of Sagar’s voice sans autotune, while in “This Way,” infectious techno beats create a slow track with upbeat undertones. A trumpet, noticeable in “Call Me Up” and “Signing Off,” nods to Sagar’s burgeoning interest in jazz music, a curiosity he revealed in a 2015 interview with Jambands.com. A combination of his time spent collaborating with Mac Demarco and diverse set of personal music interests, “Fresh Air” is a musical mosaic with a purpose, a characteristic of HOMESHAKE’s dynamic composition .
“Fresh Air’ is yet another indicator that HOMESHAKE is not an ex-guitarists’ pet project, but a genre-defying experiment in slacker rock. While HOMESHAKE is not scheduled to tour in South Florida, the album can be purchased from $9.99 on iTunes or streamed via Spotify.