Smooth does not even begin to describe this band’s new album. Avant-garde, seductive, with an element of tongue in cheek at times this band keeps things interesting with this imminent release. Synth pop in its most minimalist form, Homeshake occasionally impress with the odd track but there are certainly more than some mundane such as the monotonous Not U.
Born in the isolated prairie city of Edmonton, Canada, Homeshake’s Peter Sagar played with a couple local bands before getting up and moving to Montreal in 2011 to begin recording under the Homeshake moniker. Following two self-released cassettes (The Homeshake Tapes and Dynamic Meditation) and two acclaimed full lengths (In The Shower and Midnight Snack), Sagar releases his third album for Sinderlyn – Fresh Air.
Obviously compiled with some thought, the first track being Hello Welcome, you’re initially usurped into thinking that you are about to listen to a new Erykah Badu or Jill Scott before the second track Call Me Up hits, showcasing the dreamy vocals of Peter Sagar.
Tracks like Timing highlight his R&B elements, occasionally hitting notes like Michael Jackson used to, against a darker synthesized soundscape, however. Fresh Air continues Sagar’s exploration of wistful, down-tempo bedroom R&B and clearly draws inspiration from such distinct artists like Sade, and Prince. As the title suggests, Sagar’s songs were created to clear his listeners’ minds of negativity. A difficult task in these interesting times.
Full of smokey, laid back love songs and airy productions, Sagar’s decidedly stoned sound is intended to add a breath of indeed, fresh air. However, personally I find it all just a little too repetitive and on the unfortunate side of mundane. Khmlwugh is the track that sticks, purely for that repetition but also as it brings me back to the days of intensely listening to the sounds of Jill Scott. A fantastic effort but the artist, for my liking, should work on a wider range of notes, chords, vocals, lyrics and then maybe I will be interested. Don’t get me wrong though; talent trying to retain positive thinking is always going to get a loan of my ears.
Homeshake’s new release Fresh Air is available via Sinderlyn from 3rd February 2017.