Why Homeshake Rules by James Mackey
On a warm afternoon during the spring of 2013, a friend walked into my living room unannounced. He shut off my record player and plugged in his laptop. With a smirk on he face, he said “you’ve got to hear this.” It was the first thing he said once he stepped through the door. This is how I was introduced to Peter Sagar’s HOMESHAKE project – and It’s one of the most exciting things going on in Canada these days.
The nine songs on the HOMESHAKE tape make up less then a half hour of music, but it doesn’t feel that way. These songs are an infectious disease. You’ll replay them over and over. I’ve quite literally played my copy into the ground. Literally – the damn cassette has crapped out on me. An eclectic mix of mid-fi rock n roll and 90’s r n’ b, HOMESHAKE provides something that is paradoxically familiar and unique: clean guitar tones with just a hint of vibrato, deceptively simple drum patterns and barely there vocals. A sort of standard rock set up for sure, but such a description undermines the complexity of the arrangements. The melodies, the hooks, they’re in the basslines. The guitars are often pushed to the sidelines, simple and understated. A sample from Dragon Ball Z is recontextualized to make it sound as if they’re coming up on LSD. HOMESHAKE is a lot of things: It’s hilarious. It’s brilliant. It’s really, really, really smooth.
Peter’s more recent record, In the Shower, continues in the same vein; Another stellar collection of melodic indie rock that takes influences from classic funk but also R Kelly, for whatever reason. Stoned rambling about haters, fakers, and moon women. Tunes about the love of your life, or maybe about a cat, who knows. Lyrics alternate from the painfully direct to the ostensibly meaningless dreams of a pot head. I’ve heard that HOMESHAKE is inspired by Canada’s icy winters but, if this is true, it must certainly be inspired by the time spent at home curled up near the fireplace rather then frigid walks to the bar in January. These are cozy tunes best enjoyed with friends, some booze, and a couple joints.
If you’re familiar with HOMESHAKE, you don’t need me to convince you that they are not to be missed at this year’s Kazoo Fest. If you’re not, you’ve got some catching up to do. Buy the records, listen to them until they won’t play anymore and get your ass down to the Ebar on Friday, April 10th.
You will not be disappointed.
James Mackey is the tall guy who is a cool music aficionado. He will have a big grin on his face and an Old Style Pilsner in his hand all weekend long at Kazoo! Fest. He might even say “Oh Fuck Yeah!” once or twice.