Essentials: ‘Haircut’ EP – HOMESHAKE

As the world continues in chaos, spinning loosely on its axel, there’s no knowing where we’ll all be in the next couple of months. One silver stream of sunlight to put a smile on those frowning faces is the immense backlog of top quality music we all have to explore. With tours cancelled, venues closed and festivals shelved until next year, our favourite artists have been cooking up lockdown tunes in basements, bedrooms and studios around the globe.

Peter Sagar, now releasing music under the HOMESHAKE moniker, is the lo-fi antidote to your pandemic blues. Since leaving Mac DeMarco’s touring band in 2013, the Montreal-based guitarist has developed his stripped-back, slacker rock over four carefully crafted albums; In the Shower (2014), Midnight Snack (2015), Fresh Air (2017), and Helium (2019).

With his latest record, Haircut (2020), Sagar welcomes us into his wispy world of reverb guitar and beach-bound melodies, the ‘close your eyes’ kind of sound that revitalises and replenishes. Throughout the six-track EP, we are drawn to Sagar’s voice as the drum machines and simple basslines lazily stomp along in the background. As on previous records, the production feels airy, with space to breath, adding a depth to the record that regular listeners of lo-fi indie will be drawn to.

Though the themes explored are universal in their application, any retrospective of Haircut will paint it as an unmistakable Covid-19 record. The lyrical content reflects the loss and isolation that many people have felt over the past few months, catalysed by our detachment from friends, family, and lovers. On the title track “Haircut“, we hear a timely narrative:

Got my hair cut today, feeling shy
thinking of how you’d say, looks alright
dreamt about you again, woke up tired
lucky to see my friend’s, kitchen tile
cut a little short.”

While existing in a league with DeMarco’s thrifty, do it yourself, production values, Sagar’s melancholic and introspective story-telling offers a different side to the same coin. A distinguished name in his own right, with over 10 million Spotify streams, this EP is a welcome addition to a growing catalogue of quality records. With beer gardens and outdoors venues reopening here in Scotland, HOMESHAKE provides us with a sunshine-infused summer release for the summer that never was.

Support HOMESHAKE and buy the record on Bandcamp.

If this is your cup of tea then check out: Skinshape, Allah Las, Tom Misch, Boy Pablo, and Connan Mockasin.

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