Peter Sagar and the Homeshake Band at Fiddler’s Club

Peter Sagar of Mac DeMarco fame is known for his dreamy R&B. However, Homeshake Band live performances go beyond simply featuring Sagar’s silken falsettos and quirky instrumentation; rather they offer him the space to explore who he is as an artist – something which Helium expands on further.

Montreal native Sagar isn’t afraid to branch out from his past and experiment with different sounds, which is evident in his four-piece’s sound. After serving as DeMarco’s touring guitarist for some time, Sagar started his own project to craft his signature style that remains easily distinguishable despite slow tempos and low-key atmosphere.

This approach has proven itself. While their early releases were easy to compare with DeMarco (especially his ethereal yacht-soul songwriting and minimalist production), their later work has moved further away from his dancehall-ready live show and into more eclectic territory, thus widening their audience without alienating old supporters.

The new album by this American band stands up to that standard, boasting some of the strongest soundscapes and tracks ever. Particularly noteworthy songs, including Early, Trudi, and Lou, offer a soothing serenity rarely found today’s hyperactive pop scene.

Helium marks Homeshake’s continuing experiment in their new direction, yet their live performance at Fiddler’s Club proved somewhat subpar primarily due to an atmosphere that failed to support them fully. Homeshake relies heavily on audience participation for full effect – however the crowd of Fiddler’s Club only contributed annoying noise!

Though the venue wasn’t ideal for Homeshake’s music, despite some technical issues and Canadian-style apologies. Once settled into their set with Hello Welcome as their opener – an apt representation of their new sound with slow guitar riffs and melodies similar to DeMarco but featuring longer guitar solos as well as synthesizer backing tracks makes this album feel fresh and distinctive.

Every song on this EP was an absolute treat to listen to – from Faded’s buoyant, samba-tinged B-side and Khmlwugh’s captivating chorus, all the way down to its non-vocal interludes with Sagar using his microphone effect for low-pitched “thank yous” between tracks.