The Perfect Album to Have on a Loop This Spring
March 24, 2017
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By Kaylee Williams
Breathe in some fresh air with Homeshake this spring! Homeshake, an indie pop project consisting of singer/songwriter Peter Sagar just released a third album. The album, titled Fresh Air, dropped early February this year. Fresh Air consists of 14 songs, the majority of them ranging from one to three minutes.
Sagar got into the music industry as the guitarist for musician Mac Demarco’s tour band. He started Homeshake in 2012 as a homemade project. Soon after, he left Demarco’s band to pursue Homeshake full time (spotify.com). Although Demarco and Sagar’s music is far from the same, they do have a similar style. It’s easy to see how the two used to mesh so well together.
The mood of Fresh Air is dream-like and airy. Sagar has a distinct style of that has carried from his self-produced tapes to his professionally made albums. His music comes out simple and soft, yet groovy. If Sagar’s stoned sounding music was labeled it would fall under slacker rock. An eccentric guitar sound accompanied by a calm, mopey voice really defines Homeshake. Fresh Air, in particular, is more electronically influenced than his other albums. Sagar seemed to be spending more time on his keyboard and synthesizer with this album than he previously has.
Sagar’s previous albums were a little different. In the Shower and Midnight Snack were overall slower, based on tempos. However, Sagar told The Fader that he really thinks of his first albums as a trilogy, with Fresh Air being the last in the series. He said, “You make a big splash, then it slows down a little, and [Fresh Air] is it being still.” And that is exactly the vibe you get while listening to this album (thefader.com). It creates a moment of stillness or serenity.
One of the things that make Homeshake’s albums so relaxing is that the songs are meant to be heard from the first track to the last. The first track of Fresh Air is titled “Hello Welcome” and the last “Signing off”. Sometimes, new musicians don’t tend to put their songs in a certain order due to the fact that the majority of listeners cherry pick through albums. It is nice to be able to put on an album and not have to worry about what’s next for a bit. Sagar is also particularly talented at making simple songs.
The first single from Fresh Air is “Call me up”. The first word that comes to mind is sweet. This song, in particular, is maybe a little too sweet for my taste. It comes as a bit of a shock compared to Sagar’s previous albums which are slow and tantalizing. Granted, the lyrics are what makes the song syrupy sweet, but the upbeat rhythm is what makes it sound so different from what Sagar has done in the past.
“Every Single Thing”, however, is exactly what Sagar has been doing — but better. The toy synthesizers, just as prominent as ever, are paired with handclaps and soft drums. Sagar’s lyrics illustrate a situation where listeners can’t get out of their own heads long enough to give attention to someone who is begging for it. The lyrics are borderline sad but combined with a danceable beat, the song just works.
In the album’s title track, the groovy guitar is in full force, accompanied by wind sounds and chimes. “Fresh Air” really is a masterpiece, from the white noise to the truisms regarding anxiety and loneliness. Sagar has the right idea with the album’s title track. This broken down tune really encapsulates the aesthetic of the album.
Fresh Air is exactly that, a breath of fresh air. The airy production with upbeat rhythms is just what you need to clear your mind and relax. Fresh Air is calm, cool, and collected, which makes it the perfect springtime album. The album is just as melancholy, but definitely more refined, than his others. Sagar himself seems much more confident in Fresh Air based on his more bold instrumentals and diction. Overall, Fresh Air is a solid album deserving of an 8.5 out of 10.