On Friday, we showed an expedition with Canadian indie musician Mac DeMarco during the 2014 RBC Ottawa Bluesfest (here’s the link). Fittingly, Mac’s backup band members have recently released or are in the process of debuting their new albums, so I’m dedicating today’s articles to Mac’s supporting band and other projects. In a separate feature, I looked at the re-issuing of Appetite by Walter TV. This space focuses on the solo work of guitarist Peter Sagar, who goes by the alias Homeshake and, if you have attended any of Mac’s live shows, has occasionally crowd surfed when Mac is cemented to the stage.
Born in Edmonton and now living in Montreal, Sagar released The Homeshake Tapes last year, which consisted predominantly of lo-fi, chillaxed, grunge rock. His latest project, In The Shower, retains the same lo-fi sound but leans more towards bedroom-pop with the whispery vocals and the low-key, melodic tone. Jazz and blues influences can also be clearly heard on the album, which builds on Sagar’s adolescent years of playing jazz music. On “Okay” and “Slow”, for instance, the slight tapping of the cymbals and snare drum and the sparkling bass line coupled with Peter’s hallow vocals create a feeling of being in a smoky lounge.
Not surprisingly, Sagar’s approach is closely reflective to some of Mac DeMarco’s work, from the arrangements to the whimsical lyrics. It is also akin to the experimental indie music of Dirty Projectors, who are acclaimed for their ability to create different soundscapes that cross multiple genres. Opening track, “She Can’t Leave Me Here Alone“, and “Making a Fool of You” reflect the funky but spacy approach. The first single from the album, the terrific “Cash is Money”, and the short instrumental number, “Michael”, are almost soulful and groovy, reminiscent of the brilliant work by Seth Kaufman on his project, Floating Action.
“Chowder” likewise is a groovy tune, but the reason why it stands out is that lyrically and metaphorically it is sublime. Comparing a loved one to “chowder” may seem unusual yet it is brilliant, describing the complexity and fluidity of the individual and where a surprise awaits you at every moment. And maybe the album should have been called “Chowder” because like the great soup it is full of layers and there’s something new to discover with each listen. Then again, In the Shower, is also fitting since this is an album that could serve as background music to a David Lynch film.
In the Shower is officially out Tuesday, and it can be pre-ordered on iTunes and Amazon. Two tracks from the album below, and I’ve decided to include the trailer to the album, which is, well, a bit eccentric.
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