Album: Fresh Air – HOMESHAKE
Essential Track: Khmlwugh

The sultry guitar intro on “Hello Welcome” is the perfect sound to introduce anyone to the idea of unwinding. Created with the intention of “clearing [the] listener’s mind of negativity”, by the time you’ve listened to all forty three minutes of this album, your mind and the air around you will feel clear enough to start thinking beautiful thoughts again. Composed of full textures and an array of genre mixed inspirations, there is a sound for everyone on this album.

The horn sounding synth line at the beginning of the most popular track of the album, Call Me Up, feels as though it is almost seducing your brain into listening to the rest of Peter Sagar’s (HOMESHAKE) beautiful masterpiece. This song is quite obviously a laid back track, created to allow you to begin to unwind, sit down and listen calmly to the lyrics, the chorus in particular: “patiently she’s sitting there thinking of what she’s gonna do all alone / Anytime you want me just call me up, and I’ll answer you on the phone”. The carefully crafted use of positive language just puts a smile on the listener’s face, and reaffirms a message of everything being okay, almost like with TEMPOREX’s Care from my previous review. The end of this track feels reversed, an unexpected end to such a pretty song, but a great preparation for the third track, Not U, with it’s unsettling synth melody in the opening. I could go on for hours about the journey of this album. Throughout, Sagar’s imperfect vocals gives us a raw depiction of the humanity in this album, and paired with his poetic lyrics about love, this is amplified.

Trying to choose a favourite song from this album is near impossible, with contenders such as Every Single Thing giving warm feelings of the family kitchen on a Saturday morning, and the titular track’s six minutes and six seconds of airy space for self reflection, each track has an applicable mood to those that we feel. But amidst all of the intriguing productions and incredibly airy and catchy synth lines, is Fresh Air’s most quirky track: Khmlwugh. An acronym for its hook’s lyrics (“Kissing, hugging, making love, and / Waking up and getting high”), this song is the perfect depiction of that kind of love many of us dream for. Apart from its wholesome lyrics, this track epitomises everything we associate with HOMESHAKE. From the almost unsettling instrumental backings, what I’ve come to note as often a key feature of his music, and the last couple lyrics from the hook, HOMESHAKE really portrays himself as a “stoner” artist, with it being known that he makes a lot of his music whilst or after smoking. This is probably why everything in his music has heightened emotion, sound and quality, as well as the reason for the relaxed undertone behind all of his sounds.

Having first listened to this album as a completely hopeless fifteen year old, locked in my bedroom on a winter’s night, this is the album that I not only always go back and listen to to pick me up and feel okay, but also the album that made me want to make music. At the time, I hadn’t heard anything like this masterpiece, it was completely unique yet encapsulating, and I knew, as soon as I listened to it all the way through, that I wanted to make music that made at least one person feel that way. Of course, now I’ve heard similar music, music that complements this album, but a very little selection of music will ever make me feel like this album did.

I feel as though this is just one of those pieces of art that anyone can find what they need in it, whatever mood you may be in, whatever sounds you may prefer. I recommend this album to anyone who: needs inspiration, or feels down, or needs a breath of fresh air, who is high, who skates, fans of Mac DeMarco, those who want to listen to something a little different.

I recommend this album to all of you who just need to crack open that window of your mind, let some fresh air in, and smile 🙂

Rating: 10/10 (perfection)