Put this paper down and immediately exit whatever Starbucks you are currently loitering in. Now, grab your adidas, slouch a bit, and shuffle into the closest Philz because we are about to delve into the world of authentic alternative rock.
Wave farewell to Lana and Halsey, and open your web browsers. Here is your personal introduction to a band that you “probably haven’t heard of before.” Enter: Homeshake.
To simply call Homeshake “alternative rock” would be an insult to the concept of sound as well as my own vocabulary. Homeshake is a band that refutes the entanglement of a genre, pairing a 70’s groove with the modern electric keyboard. Frontman Peter Sagar’s drowsy vocals create a sensation reminiscent of a raft lost at sea, its movements slave to the unpredictable waves that consume it. I could feed you an additional melodramatic metaphor while you roll your eyes and assume I sold my personality to Urban Outfitters, but instead, I’ll tell you this: Homeshake is a pioneer in its own frontier, and it totally rocks.
Before delving into Homeshake’s new album, “Midnight Snack,” we must understand the origins of the sensational Peter Sagar. Sagar grew up in Edmonton, Canada alongside his long-time friend and fellow musician, Mac Demarco. Once Demarco found success in the United States with unique R&B undercuts and a jazzy bass-line, Sagar was enlisted as the guitarist on his national tour. After his tour, Sagar went on to release two official albums. I speculate Sagar has adapted a large part of his sound from Demarco’s “Rock and Roll Nightclub” album, though he lists his influences as Ann Peebles, Roy Orbison, The Band, and Thelonious Monk. Naturally, I do not recognize a single one of these artists. How alternative.
“Midnight Snack” is the second of Homeshake’s two measly albums, though the band offers a handful of unreleased songs on SoundCloud and Youtube. I recommend you kick-off your pilgrimage into the Canadian music scene with their most notorious track, “Northern Man.” This song eases you into Sagar’s ultimate rhythm, pairing his diluted falsetto with a bold digression from standard tuning. After you embrace this new classification of “alternative,” you are free to explore “Midnight Snack.” I am not going to lie about you, this album is odd. Homeshake in general is a bit of an acquired taste. The pitch is inconsistent, the guitar is twangy, and the composition is the traditional music critic’s worst nightmare. However, I see these flaws as a necessary addition to the band’s originality. Perhaps, their inconsistency and lack of common appeal gives them a sort of freedom. Or maybe I’m reading into this too much and Sagar was just too lazy to tune. Oh well.
Anyways, “Midnight Snack” is an incredibly distinct compilation. It sets forth an almost existentialist feel, its themes riddles with the anxiety of early adulthood. Sagar provides an absorption with the simplified concept of romantic love, deconstructing the concept as “only a feeling.” Lyrics dwindle throughout the lazy percussion, building a desire that is eventually satiated as the album comes to an end with a final track, “Goodnight.” If you lack the desire to splurge on the whopping $10 album, I recommend you listen to “Heat,” “He’s Heating Up!,” “Faded,” “I Don’t Wanna,” and “Midnight Snack.”