Fresh Air is a refreshing new take on modern music

February 21, 2017

Fresh Air was one of the most refreshing ways to begin 2017.

 

 

HOMESHAKE's Peter Sagar from Montreal a.k.a former guitarist for Mac DeMarco’s live band.

 

 

HOMESHAKE is Peter Sagar’s solo musical project. Sagar is most known for being in Mac Demarco’s live band up until 2013, when he started writing and producing his own music.

 

Fresh Air is his third studio album, and takes a lot of risks by using elements of Mac Demarco’s slacker rock style, synth pop, indie rock, and R&B vocals.


The album starts off with a very welcoming guitar track, titled Hello Welcome, reminiscent of the slacker style used in Demarco’s music. 


Fans of Sagar’s previous work will be glad to hear that some of the best tracks in the album are these Mac Demarco-esque songs.

 

The thing that separates HOMESHAKE from Demarco’s music is Sagar’s high R&B vocals, which makes most of his music sound original and unique. 


Tracks like Getting Down II and So She highlight Sagar’s guitar skills and shows how masterfully he can incorporate his vocals to build an incredibly catchy song.


HOMESHAKE’s electronic pop songs are just as good.

 

Sagar uses cheap synthesizers to make a very 80s’ sound to it, yet keeps it modern with his smooth vocals and deceptively simple drum beats.  


My favorite song off the album, Every Single Thing, has a low synthesizer playing in the background for the majority of the song, giving off a very cheesy, light-hearted mood, but Sagar’s lyrics, vocals and piano track give the song a feeling of urgency and regret.

 

When all the elements come together, they evoke conflicting moods, but create a very complementing sound. 


I did not expect to hear many electronic songs off this album, but I’m glad I was wrong. 


While I think Fresh Air is one of the best new albums I’ve heard in a while, it is not perfect.

 

HOMESHAKE produced a couple of dark electronic songs that seemed very out of place. 


While I tend to like darker, sadder songs, I didn’t like how HOMESHAKE approached it.

 

Tracks like Not U and Wrapping Up sound more like trap than pop or rock.

 

Sagar’s smooth R&B vocals are a still a big focus in these songs, but they just aren’t as appealing as in the rest of the tracks.

 

They aren’t terrible tracks, but more of a risk that didn’t pay off.


I will admit that I had never listened to HOMESHAKE (or Mac Demarco, at that matter) up until I listened Fresh Air this last weekend.

 

I enjoyed the album a lot, so much so that I went out to look into HOMESHAKE’s previous albums and Sagar’s work with Mac Demarco. 


While HOMESHAKE’s music is far from normal, I think Fresh Air was a great album for its creative storytelling and lyrics, catchy guitar licks, passionate singing, cheesy slacker mood, and deceptively simple originality. 


If you’re a fan of Mac Demarco, psychedelic rock, vapor wave, or just weird music in general, I highly suggest you give Fresh Air a listen.  


I give it 4.2 stars out of 5. 

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