Review: Homeshake – Midnight Snack

It’s not the easiest decision to leave the world of Mac DeMarco behind, but when the rock and roll lifestyle leaves a lot to be desired, touring guitarist Peter Sagar left it all behind to pursue his own musical interests. For the past two years, Sagar has been creating and performing under the pseudonym Homeshake, and his music is an R&B-infused chillwave experience. After writing his debut LP, In the Shower, back in 2014, Sagar split with DeMarco to focus solely on future Homeshake projects.

Sagar currently tours with his band, consisting of Greg Napier, Brad Loughead, and Mark Goetz. His music offers up a more intimate approach to solo work, and when listening to it, feels like he is playing right in your living room as the night carries on. With his lo-fi attitude and smooth delivery, Peter Sagar and Homeshake may have one of the best under-the-radar albums of 2015.

With the release of his sophomore effort, produced by Jack MacIntosh, Midnight Snack sees Sagar opening up to his listeners, providing them insight on the life he lives with his girlfriend Salina Ladha, who happens to designed all of Homeshake’s album cover art. The decision to fuse his organic sound off his first record with newfound and playful synths yielded a delightful result, as all twelve tracks of this record are sonically pleasing to the ears, adhering to the mantra of, “less is more”. Each track feels like entering a different room in Sagar’s Montreal home late in the evening, covered in masses of blankets to keep warm. In the space Sagar has opened up, it allows him to let his jazzy chords and intricate progressions echo and have time to be fully absorbed as they relate the feel in full.

Opening the record is the quick “What Did He Look Like”, where Sagar brilliantly captures a conversation between two confused partygoers who are unable to decipher who Homeshake really is besides the wonderful moniker. In this, there are hopes to clear the slate for his second album and bring it all to the table as the conversation melds into the next track, “Heat”, where the synthetic timbres envelope Sagar as he sings of being sick of the cold.

With the introduction of the harsh and immediate texture of drum machines complimenting Sagar’s almost monotonous, falsetto croon, songs like “He’s Heating Up!” and “Faded” offer up a stripped back take on going fully electronic with the narrative of feeling disheveled after long road trips. “Under the Sheets” finds Sagar with nothing but his voice accompanied by punchy synth has he churns out the record’s catchiest chorus. In “Love is Only a Feeling” and “Real Love”, he juxtapositions the theme of love with a somber backdrop, leaving the listener wondering if Sagar is doing alright. Anchored by melodic bass and atmospherically warm synths on the title track, the bouquet of assorted drowsiness means to comfort whoever is listening to this album’s highlight; such is the nature of a midnight snack. It seems as if Sagar was close to falling asleep recording the entire album due to the lethargically captivating nature of almost every line and hook, perfectly exemplifying the melancholy of someone on the edge of slumber. He has swaddled the record in drifting tones and airy guitar licks, never rushing too fast so we can all soak it in.

The real genius on the album was the decision to keep more than half of the tracks under the 3 minute mark, allowing Sagar to slip in and out of every anecdote, never overstaying his welcome. The short length makes each song more poignant and effective by comparison, leaving a sweet taste by the time the instrumentally lush “Good Night” slips out of range as Sagar trails off, back to bed. The simplicity in Midnight Snack makes it a beautiful indie-pop dream, and will certainly be on repeat until his next effort arrives.

Top Tracks: “Midnight Snack”, “Heat”, “Faded”

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