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Leaving a Dive Bar? Try Some Homeshake

Photo of Homeshake by Luc Wittebol

Photo by Luc Wittebol

"Draw something sexy in a shower," Peter Sagar told his girlfriend as she designed the cover for his first album, Homeshake Tape, in 2013. The sensuality of Sagar’s work is a bit surprising considering his roots in Canadian slack rock, including a stint as Mac DeMarco’s guitarist. Homeshake forges a new path, mixing sexy R&B elements with slacker rock, ideal listening after a night at a dive bar.

Photo of Peter Sagar

Peter Sagar

You can call that a breath of fresh air; Sagar’s goal after splitting from DeMarco was to explore the contents of indie rock meshed with R&B, stating in an interview with Vice, “I was on the road a lot as I was writing this record [Homeshake Tape]. Around the same time, I also decided I really liked R&B. I made a conscious effort to have the new songs recorded better.”

Hailing from Montreal, Sagar’s Homeshake involves some of his friends from home. They got together in 2011 and have made four EPs of downtempo bedroom jazz and psychedelia.

In an interview with Purple Sneakers, Sagar reflected on the intimacy of his music, and how it made him want to see his “significant other.” “It’s fairly relationship driven,” he said. “Mostly about getting off tour and being able to spend time with my significant other. Like, real chunks of time, not just a few weeks here and there; being home and trying to reconnect with people.”

Even phone calls inspire Sagar. In “Call Me Up,” from their 14-track LP, Fresh Air, released in Feb, 3, 2017, ” The chorus goes, “Anytime you want it just call me up, and I’ll answer you, on the phone,” with Sagar’s voice infusing a surprising sweetness to fans of his previous work. Perhaps it’s due to the touches of R&B found in Homeshake’s work, from Prince to Sade and Angelo Badalamenti.

"Every Single Thing" blends high-pitched Frank Ocean-style lullabies with funk and slack rock guitar riffs—something perhaps unexpected from an artist out of Montreal.

The core of the new style is best exemplified in the song “Every Single Thing,” which catches you off guard if you’re a regular listener of Homeshake. It blends high-pitched Frank Ocean-style lullabies with funk and slack rock guitar riffs—something perhaps unexpected from an artist out of Montreal.

Homeshake’s most interesting musical compound is Sagar’s voice. It is neither under- nor over-whelmed by the supporting guitars and drums. It’s just another instrument, giving his music a subtle drone effect—perfect for stoners (as YouTube comments testify.

Perhaps Fresh Air will be the purest manifestation of Homeshake’s slack rock heritage mixed with R&B. Thus, the EP should protect them from being compared again. Not like being compared to the self-proclaimed “scumbag” Mac DeMarco is a bad thing; Homeshake’s music shows it’s totally natural to be a little sensual after indulging in some dive-bar trashiness.

Homeshake is currently on tour in the United States and in Europe. Check it out.

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