For fans of: Mac DeMarco, Alex Calder, Mild High Club
Fresh Air, the third album from Montreal-based Homeshake dives deeper into the rainy-day melancholy former Mac DeMarco guitarist Peter Sagar and company are renowned for crafting so well. This time around, they expand on the synth strolls and melodic bass lines boasted on 2015’s Midnight Snack.
Homeshake, as featured on their Bandcamp.
“Serious” plays with an abrasive siren-like sound in the chorus, showing Sagar’s ambition to incorporate unconventional sounds to further Homeshake’s songwriting capacities. Sagar’s signature falsetto comes out to shine on tracks like “Not U,” his falsetto refrain on the hook blissfully complementing the woozy, sonically dense instrumentation.
What separates Fresh Air from its predecessors is the sheer density of these 14 tracks. The rich low-end groovy synths anchor the record to R&B framework, but the higher synths, guitars and advancement in production techniques provide refuge for Sagar and his croon to find room to breathe. Though Fresh Air boasts Homeshake’s most complex and well-produced work yet, “TV Volume” and “So She” recall Homeshake’s first full-length- the former toying with wah-kissed guitar trills littered through In The Shower, while the latter basks in a single chord strummed amble.
With that said, Fresh Air feels like significantly less of a musical jump than Midnight Snack was from 2014’s In The Shower. However, this shouldn’t be perceived as negative. The most stark connection to previous material is “Getting Down Pt. II,” a gloomy groove where Sagar calls back the main melodies from “He’s On Fire” from Midnight Snack.
The perma-stoned bliss and suave lyricism that Sagar seems to have mastered makes Homeshake a recommended listen for someone who needs some “fresh air,” or perhaps maybe just a deep breath. Fresh Air finds itself straddling between stimulating and sedating, but nothing urges, nothing pushes, everything is organic and unforced. The opening lines of “This Way” serve as a fitting mantra for Fresh Air: “Come in and sit and stay a while, you can relax, it’s me.”