You’d be forgiven for not knowing who HOMESHAKE is, floating around that bracket between R & B and electronic music, his slow-jam soul infused anthems are something that can easily go unnoticed on the most avid of music aficionado’s radar. Shaking off the label of ‘that guy that played guitar for Mac DeMarco’, musician-producer Peter Sagar releases his third album under label Sinderlyn, which can be suitably described as a breath of fresh air.
‘Fresh Air’ breathes that time-travelling-nostalgia that makes you dust off those Kickers, it’s a concoction of HOMESHAKE’s notable production chops with a tip of the hat to some undoubtable influences.
With lyrics laden with personal pronouns, the songwriting throughout portrays a love-infused conversation that is reminiscent of soul tracks of the 80’s and 90’s. Contrastingly, the production is eclectic and refreshing, with tasteful guitar riffs and a homemade aura which has echoes of early James Blake. Somehow, Sagar achieves a vibe that is so old-school, yet so new.
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Epitomising the quirky production throughout, ‘Fresh Air’ opens with ‘Hello Welcome’, a minute-long guitar instrumental that fittingly introduces the imminent groove of ‘Call Me Up’ and ‘Not U’. Instantly the scene is set; delicate vocals intertwined with a synth at the foreground. Meanwhile, the ageless 808 and synth bass provide a hypnotising foundation that slowly pulls the tracks along — the chemistry is simple yet it produces an elaborate and chilled soundscape.
Individually the tracks carry their own weight, having continued writing straight after releasing his previous album ‘Midnight Snack’, Sagar has honed his sound and seems to have found a formula that works. That same sound contributes to ‘Fresh Air’ being the holistic artefact it is, where not all the tracks sound the same yet are not so different – a trait comparable with D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’ – yet again an implication of HOMESHAKE’s reverence to notable influences.
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It’s clearly evident that Sagar’s production techniques are non-conformist, with abrupt endings and divergent instrumental interludes. Continuing with the already established electro-R & B tones, latter tracks ‘So She’ and ‘This Way’ bear vocals characterised by a Tame Impala-esque reverb, whilst ‘Timing’ concludes with a psychedelic 40-second reversed guitar outro. Suitably, the album concludes as it begun with an instrumental flurry, that produces a cadence that allows resolution for the listener and graces them with an unavoidable feeling of contentment.
With a modest 31k likes on Facebook, HOMESHAKE evidently has a loyal fanbase: announcing tour dates that have spanned across several continents in the last year. Undoubtedly, with his latest release, Peter Sagar’s growth as an artist showcases his potential to be ‘that one you heard of before it was even a thing’.
‘Fresh Air’ is out now via Sinderlyn.