Welcome to 2016 folks. I hope you’re well rested, and ready for the new term to kick your ass. Don’t mind that stress, though. It’s time for us to gather once again for the first time in 2016 to relax, diminish our negativity, and settle into the wonderful ecosphere of bedroom music. So let’s fade the lights, finger the volume dial, and tenderly pull the comforter over our heads as we relinquish ourselves to the music of Homeshake.
Today’s spotlight is shining on a young act hailing from Montreal, who traverses the many realms of indie pop. Homeshake is the solo project of a man named Peter Sagar, who is best known for playing lead guitar on tour with Mac Demarco. Upon listening to Homeshake, the quality that catches my ear first is the complexity of the guitar chords that Sagar lays down. These aren’t your basic C Major etc. chords that dominate the contemporary spectrum. Sagar pulls guitar licks out of his hat that present qualities like diminished and augmented notes, which is one of the many factors that depletes the predictability of his music.
Homeshake is, for a lack of a better word (good thing I’m a writer) “chill.” This isn’t music to get amped up to. It’s music to get lost to. It’s music to disturb your equilibrium, while remaining content within it. There aren’t many different instrumentations that work into the finished product. The typical formula is drums/drum track, bass, an effected guitar track, synth, and single tracked vocals. Despite the lack of instruments, the empty spaces are filled by the complexity of the individual parts. The melodies work their way out of the familiar major and minor scales, which illustrate the divergent thinking I continue to associate with Homeshake.
Here is the September 2015 release, Midnight Snack:
So far, there are two major releases under Homeshake’s belt: 2014’s In The Shower and 2015’s Midnight Snack, off of Sinderlyn Records. The former establishes Homeshake’s role in indie-pop: the complex, experimental musical scientist who reaches out to all of the prevalent influences that craft the creation. There’s jazz in the guitar, there’s disco in the bass, there’s psych rock in the drums, 70s rock in the vocals, and Homeshake in everything. There’s excitement in all of the tracks, and sudden changes within individual songs. For instance, in “Making a Fool of You,” the parts are sporadic in a way that tentatively holds my attention. The main themes are catchy and capricious.
What I like a little more about Midnight Snack is that everything seems a bit more coherent. I don’t want to say it’s easier to listen to, but the music is more relatable. The tracks are well established by the time the tempo and key are sealed in the listener’s mind. That way when a subtle alteration occurs, it’s special. When change is not the norm, something can take me by surprise, which is something Homeshake excels at in Midnight Snack. My favorite track off this album is “He’s Heating Up!” This song fully exemplifies what I like about Homeshake. The main theme is a unique guitar part that utilizes trills and ascending chord structure. The bass line is reminiscent of the 70s through its occasional snapping and melodic nature. The vocal line is single tracked, with a ghostly female voice reminding us of the title. Sagar’s falsetto vibrates within my skull to rattle what has been stable for so long.
Midnight Snack provides the themes of restlessness, lethargy, and insomnia. This album is the feeling of becoming more awake because you keep thinking about how much you need to sleep. It’s that terrible paradox that possesses you to finally give up and get up to find something in the fridge for a midnight snack.
Let’s get “Under the Sheets” with Homeshake.
Peter Sagar is the driving force behind these unique recordings, but there are contributions from Mark Goetz, Greg Napier, and Brad Loughead. The project formed in 2012, and in 2013, Fixture Records put out the first Homeshake cassette called The Homeshake Tape. Over the past three years, Sagar has kept very busy, composing new material and touring with Mac Demarco. In 2014, Sinderlyn picked up Homeshake, and released the first full length, In The Shower. Homeshake is currently touring for Midnight Snack. There are no shows coming up in the Seattle area, but I’ll keep you updated.
This is a live performance of the jumpy tune, “I Don’t Play.”
Homeshake is the direction of indie music that I will blindly follow. This music is exciting, and serves as yet another illustration of how original bedroom recordings can be. Bedroom musicians provide themselves with the tools that are necessary to nurture their talent and to tap into their creativity. Everything they need is in the mind and in the bedroom.
JASON McCUE | Pitch-dork | KXSU Reporter