When: Wed., Aug. 9, 9 p.m. 2017
Homeshake tumbled out of Edmonton, Candada, the same music scene that's given us the likes of Calvin Love and Mac DeMarco. The overlap between Homeshake and the latter was once much bigger: Peter Sagar played guitar on the road with DeMarco from 2012 through 2014. But on his own with Homeshake, Sagar executes a vision all his own—one that, on the surface, sounds like a slacker daydream but which yields plenty of rewards upon deeper listening.
In February, Sagar released Fresh Air, his third "proper" Homeshake LP (his earliest releases were a 2013 cassette and a digital mixtape). Fresh Air opens with a smooth, elastic guitar line on "Hello Welcome," which cedes to the taut and crispy percussion of "Call Me Up."
The record quickly reveals itself as an escape, an appropriate soundtrack for a long, aimless walk on a drizzly gray day or a sunnier one spent inside with all of the shades drawn. It's not exactly a downer record, but it speaks to those occasions of feeling frustrated, stuck, apathetic, or just plain lazy. Sagar wraps these sentiments with slick but restrained instrumentation. A bouncy, fuzzy bass line powers "Every Single Thing," but he laments, "Feeling so out of touch, staying inside too much."
These ruminations occasionally veer toward the adolescent, though. The title of "Khmlwugh," for example, is an anagram of the song's refrain: kissing, hugging, making love, waking up, getting high, delivered as a slow tumble of words. It's a respectable to-do list, of course, but something about the track and delivery feels immature. But even those youthful moments feel agreeable in the larger framework of Fresh Air. Don't we all occasionally wish to be liberated from the disappointments and anxieties of adulthood from time to time?
Around the time of Fresh Air's release, Sagar told The Fader that he was interested in eventually making what he called an "ambient relaxation tape." It would be an intriguing, but not entirely nonsensical move. For all his associations with lo-fi indie and revival R & B, Sagar excels at making music to drop out to. —Allison Hussey