A few years back, I caught Peter Sagar‘s final performance as the guitarist in Mac DeMarco‘s touring band when they played a late night set on the last day of the 2014 Pickathon Music Festival. At the time of that announcement — which they made with an over-the-top going away medley of cover songs that ranged from Rammstein to Bachman Turner Overdrive — the question was about who would fill that position in the group, but by the following month, DeMarco‘s crew had already made a, more or less, effortless transition with his replacement, Andrew Charles White. To be entirely honest, the question about what would happen to Sagar next felt less relevant; the energy required for such consistent touring simply seemed that it must have worn him out on that scene, prompting him to head back to Canada and, presumably, take a well deserved break. Then, two months later, a full length album under his Homeshake moniker arrived via a new sub label/offshoot of Captured Tracks called Sinderlyn Records; Peter wasn’t taking a step back from the music industry, but rather redirecting his focus. There had been two previous Homeshake cassette tapes created and released with minimal fanfare, but while these lo-fi efforts are definitely worth checking out, they were easy to dismiss as a less “serious” side project when paired against the unstoppable train of prolificity and ever swelling notoriety that his buddy Mac had become. In The Shower was an album that showcased a new leap for Sagar beyond those early bandcamp releases and presented a new force to be reckoned with, offering an undeniably unique sound unto itself outside of DeMarco‘s trademark genre of “jizz-jazz,” or any of the other Captured Tracks / Sinderlyn projects delivered by Montreal cohorts like Walter TV, Alex Calder, and Sheer Agony, who he’d been connected to or worked with in the past. Homeshake was smooth “bedroom R&B” and quickly became some of my favorite shit around from anywhere; an incredibly promising, yet slept-on, late year release that made me both enthusiastic for what the new year might bring, sonically, as well as what might potentially be born from Sagar’s newish project, specifically, especially now that it would be pulling the songwriter’s his full attention.
In The Shower didn’t highlight the multi-instrumentalist’s proven guitar prowess, or even his jazz drumming skills, for which he’d medaled in his youth, but rather offered up airy sweet melodies bobbing through hazy grooves, some of which I described at the time as being “reminiscent of the smooth deliberate Caucasian soul grooves of the 70s, along with production that intermittently enters into territories that feel a bit like older Ariel Pink and, surprisingly enough, early Pure Guava and The Pod-era WEEN.” Adding that “steamy reverb and syrupy, purple drank-sippin’ bass strolls lubricate[d] the panties off [those] tracks like a chilled glass of fine chardonnay.” In that review, I mentioned how taken I was with the album, but also that part of its appeal was the organic feeling of it all, particularly in regards to the aspects of experimentation. I clarified that sentiment as such:, “Not that In The Shower isn’t a fully realized effort, but there’s something exciting about an artist who, themselves, are a work in progress; it just means that you’re welcomed in to witness the process and, with anyone that’s truly worthy of their hype, that evolution will hopefully continue indefinitely.” Now, with Fresh Air, his third LP for Sinderlyn, released earlier this month, that evolution has definitely continued. Just as instantly compelling and infectious as his first release for the label, Sagar has polished off some of the rough edges on this album without abandoning what makes the project come across so direct and genuine. If anything, it just feels as if he’s really arrived at a new understanding of how to harness what this project is truly capable of. There’s a new cohesiveness to it and the sound has only matured, the nuance and strengths more defined, his voice more confident, both in his singing and as an artist/producer, in general.
Today we are treated to a brand new video for one of Fresh Air‘s several standout jams, “Every Single Thing” featuring some mesmerizing moves from a pair of dancer’s in Tapei, China. Speaking of the track, Peter states, “My mind wanders a lot, often overtop of someone else speaking to me. It’s a bad habit, and I can’t seem to shake it.”
Check it out below, followed by a full list Homeshake tour dates.
04/08 – Santa Ana, CA – We Were Young Fest (at The Observatory)
04/10 – Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst Club
04/11 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
04/13 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
04/14 – Vancouver, BC – The Cobalt
04/15 – Seattle, WA – Timbre Room
04/16 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
04/17 – Reno, NV – The Holland Project
05/30 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega Ideal Bar