By Stephanie Holstein ’18
If there were to be a soundtrack to describe the act of getting a late-night snack from the kitchen, this album would be it. Drowsy and dreamlike, illuminated by some kind of artificial light—be it the literal light from the refrigerator or the figurative glow that the synthesizer casts on this entire record—Homeshake’s third full-length album is a delight to the senses.
Peter Sagar, most notably known as the former guitarist for pal Mac Demarco, has been rising in the ranks of the slacker wave genre ever since he decided to make Homeshake his primary focus last year. While he has been releasing music through Homeshake since 2012, Midnight Snack feels slightly different. In a strange paradoxical way, while it feels like since he’s devoted more time and thought to this album, it sounds more strung out and less stylized than anything he’s put out previously. For a little comparison, here is one of Homeshake’s earliest songs, “Moon Woman”:
It’s a beautiful track—sweet and soulful and full. Yet in comparison to a song off of Midnight Snack, such as the early released song “Give It To Me,” there is a noticeable difference in sound. Sagar has now decided to strip away some of the soul and replace it with vibrating basslines and sparse keyboard, evolving his sound while still satisfying our inner ear with a solid rhythm to chew on.
Midnight Snack is lush without an elaborate parade of instruments, and relatable without totally coherent lyrics. While music cannot exist in a vacuum, Sagar’s brainchild somehow sounds different than anything else I have heard before. It is as if he’s taken the chilled out mentality of his friends’ indie punk bands and replaced their guitar solos and laid-back lyrics with heavily mixed basslines and a steady rhythm that runs like water throughout entire tracks.
In terms of lyrical content, it is next to impossible to catch what Sagar is saying half of the time. By placing emphasis on the instrumental over the vocals, you almost have to turn your brain off in order to let yourself understand the general feeling of Midnight Snack. By spacing, you may pick up on hints of vulnerability and longing, and even melancholy, most notably felt when listening to the song “Love Is Only A Feeling.”
If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to music. However, it is always a pleasure to have a little album like Midnight Snack sneak up on you to to end the monotony. Homeshake is going places—first the fridge, and then the world.