Take Montreal-based soloist, Pete Sagar. Add synth, add sultry vocals. Throw in two critically-acclaimed albums, a sprinkling of soul and a plentitude of ambient electronica. Open the windows and let it breathe. What’ve you got? Homeshake with his brand new album, Fresh Air!
This original recipe is a lazy day, sugar blazed staple. Turn it up, lie down low. Lead single 'Call Me Up' is a slow burn down-tempo number, produced in Sagar’s bedroom. ‘Every Single Thing’ tunes into themes of nostalgia and emotional turmoil, while stemming from R&B roots. The DIY guy’s come a long way. Formerly known for being Mac DeMarco’s bassist, Homeshake began selling self-released cassettes. Look at him now. Six years on, three albums in, we question what's eating Homeshake.
Olly Evans: 'Every Single Thing' is undeniably R&B. Have you always wanted to experiment with this genre?
Homeshake: No, not really. I spent most of my younger years trying to make really loud, angry music – but after I moved to Montreal, I stopped trying to do one thing in particular, and whatever happened happened!
OE: So Montreal mellowed you?
Homeshake: Yeah, when I'm away, I get a little excited. So after that, it's nice to get home and relax. Since this is where I do all my writing, there's a mellow vibe.
OE: What’s your favourite subject matter?
Homeshake: Relationships, friends, family.
OE: What inspires you to write the most?
Homeshake: It's the only thing I know how to do, it's the only thing that makes me feel good, so I kinda have to do it.
OE: What inspired the album name, Fresh Air?
Homeshake: I would be trying to write something and keep hitting walls, so I would go outside and stand on my balcony for a moment to clear my mind.
OE: And what inspired the tunes?
Homeshake: No artist in particular – it's more like a feeling, but I definitely listen to a lot of ambient electronic music. The whole idea is making something that sounds good. Anything else is a happy byproduct. If it clears my head or helps the listener, that's a really cool bonus – but, mainly, I just make nice sounds.
OE: Is there anything you're afraid of, as an artist?
Homeshake: Not mattering to anybody is a scary thing. But other than that, not improving on previous work would be the scariest thing!
"I'm just a regular guy, but kids go nuts. They're good kids! I like ‘em!"
OE: A lot of solo outfits feel vulnerable and embarrassed to write about their own experiences in their songs, as it’s a little like handing your own diary to the world. Do you ever experience moments of doubt like this?
Homeshake: Oh yeah, I mean I'm plagued with that all the time... There's nothing you can do, but just be brave enough to get through it.
OE: How’s touring, now that you’re no longer part of Mac DeMarco’s four piece?
Homeshake: It's relaxed, I no longer have to go with whatever is put on the table, I get to decide everything.
OE: It must feel good having more control!
Homeshake: It’s good and bad. It can be stressful sometimes… The best part is not having to do the things you really don't feel like doing, but the worst part is being accountable for any problems that arise. Our last European tour was really hard ‘cos we didn't make enough money and I wasn't able to pay anybody in my band, even though the shows were all sold out. It was rough! It's a bizarre time with things like that.
OE: When you’re not touring and recording, what do you do in your spare time?
Homeshake: Cook dinner, go for walks, see my friends. I'm pretty obsessed with Star Trek Next Generation right now.
OE: What’s the strangest situation you’ve ever been in with a fan?
Homeshake: I have no idea, they're all pretty strange! Sometimes they get a little crazy… I'm just a regular guy, but kids go nuts. They're good kids! I like ‘em!
OE: What’s next for Homeshake?
Homeshake: I’m playing four shows in Brooklyn mid February. It's where my label [Sinderlyn] is based, hence why I'm playing four shows back-to-back there. It’s pretty cool to go there – you get a romantic idea about [Brooklyn], growing up. After that, whatever makes sense. I never really plan ahead.
01: Hello Welcome
02: Call Me Up
03: Not U
04: Every Single Thing
05: Wrapping Up
06: Getting Down, Pt II
08: TV Volume
10: Fresh Air
12: So She
13: This Way
14: Signing Off
EU tour dates
May 08th: Luzern, Switzerland – Voliere
May 09th: Fribourg, Switzerland – Nouveau Monde
May 10th: Paris, France – Point Ephemere
May 11th: Ghent, Germany – Dok Kantine
May 12th: Rotterdam, Netherlands – Rotown
May 13th: Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg
May 14th: Cologne, Germany – Buhmann & Sohn
May 17th: London, England – Scala
May 18th: Brighton, England, The Great Escape
May 20th: Glasgow, Scotland – Broadcast
May 21st: Leeds, England – Brudenell
May 22nd: Dublin, Ireland – Sugar Club
May 23rd: Manchester, England – Deaf Institute
May 28th: Berlin, Germany – Berghain Kantine
May 29th: Hamburg, Germany – Club! Heim Am Shanzenpark
May 30th: Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega Ideal Bar
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