It’s difficult to characterize HOMESHAKE, the solo project of Peter Sagar, former guitarist for Mac DeMarco. In the Shower, Sagar’s genre-defying debut album, is a pleasing blend of funk-inspired bass lines, indie melodies and jazzy rhythms — a sound DeMarco jokingly refers to ‘jizz-jazz.’
It was a little tricky to figure out when to leave, but I needed more time to work on my own stuff and do other things…
Now living in Montreal, Edmonton-born Sagar admits it was risky to go out on his own at the height of DeMarco’s meteoric rise to success. “It was a little tricky to figure out when to leave, but I needed more time to work on my own stuff and do other things I missed so much on the road, like cooking dinner with my sweetie and watching shitty action movies.”
But with risk comes reward, and Sagar’s decision to go it alone seems to have paid off. His self-titled EP, The HOMESHAKE Tape, and full-length album In the Shower were both favourably received by critics and fans alike, with Exclaim! giving the latter 8 out of 10.
Given the leapfrogging of cities and countries that occurred with DeMarco, it’s impressive that Sagar found the time to write and record both HOMESHAKE releases while touring. “Playing on the road every night leaves me with very little energy or time to come up with new ideas, so it took quite a while to get the album on tape. But I’m a patient guy,” he says.
He’s quick to explain that despite the challenges of touring, he cherished his time on the road with DeMarco and Co. “We’d be in a new place for weeks and months at a time and, being a bit of a homebody, I’d get pretty tired of it. But I was with some of the world’s finest men. We could have been working dishwashing jobs together and it still would have been great.”
He speaks warmly of his past experiences, but also acknowledges the perks of being able to set his own schedule now. Rather than assembling riffs and bits of songs at sound checks or during brief moments of downtime, he’s able to really focus on achieving his goals as a solo artist. “I’ve been getting a lot of work done, and it’s a lot more satisfying to work on something brand new instead of recording songs you wrote nine months ago.”
The HOMESHAKE Tape was definitely a bridge between the music I’d been writing while living in Edmonton and after moving to Montreal. It’s got a bit more of a cohesive sound.
Perhaps it’s this immediacy that contributes to the fluidity of In the Shower. “The Homeshake Tape was definitely a bridge between the music I’d been writing while living in Edmonton and after moving to Montreal. It’s got a bit more of a cohesive sound.”
Sagar is one of many creative Edmontonians — like DeMarco — whose work has been positively influenced by moving to cities like Montreal, where the music scene is arguably more progressive. He explains, “Being somewhere larger that a lot of artists move to, [Montreal] has a wider variety of ideas being explored. Living [there] has helped me to think outside my own box.”
The hectic touring cycle might have stopped for now, but Sagar does plan to take HOMESHAKE on the road. “We’ve got some real hot players in the group,” he says. For the moment, he’s enjoying the simplicities of home life that have eluded him over the past few years. “Every morning I wake up in my own bed and make myself some breakfast. This is the life baby, oh yeah.”
The meaning of Jazz Cartier’s Fleurever is rooted in duality. In the two years since his sophomore mixtape, Hotel Paranoia, the artist has had to “[battle] the balances of love and money, risks and rewards, right and wrong, or living and dying”, alongside coming to terms with the throes of wealth and fame. Subsequently Fleurever—or, as he calls it, his “third project”—explores Cartier’s personal growth in the years following. With his newfound maturity in tow, Toronto’s rising rap star is on course to start a music revolution—well, that’s the idea anyway. Georgie caught up with Cartier to talk about gratitude, the rapper’s personal transformation, and the driving force behind Fleurever. G—Can you tell us a bit about your latest album Fleurever and the inspiration behind it? JC—Most of the inspiration came from growth, and a bit from my departure from Toronto. A lot of the record was made in my last days in Toronto, and just having that cloud over my head and knowing that I’d be leaving soon—it was more so showing my affection for the city that pretty much shaped my sound. G—Did you have a vision in mind when you started writing this album? JC—For the most part Fleurever is just myself and my
When asked to describe herself in three words, Nina Nesbitt didn’t hesitate. “Introverted, creative, and driven”. While you wouldn’t guess the former from her edgy, empowering tracks—her latest single “Loyal To Me” is a girl-power anthem, rallying women to ditch their unfaithful partners—the latter two can’t be questioned. In the six years since she was discovered in an unplanned encounter with Ed Sheeran, Nesbitt has released three EPs and one full length album; toured with Sheeran, Justin Bieber, and U.K rapper Example; and carved her way into the alt-pop scene with a harmonious blend of groove and grit. Earlier this year, the Edinborough-native was one of three emerging female artists chosen to partake in Spotify’s “Louder Together” initiative, recording the first collaborative Spotify single (“Psychopath”) with Sasha Sloan and Charlotte Lawrence, and showcasing her signature style of thoughtful messages pulsating atop hook-driven melodies. With her sophomore album ready to drop, Georgie spoke with Nesbitt about her experience being thrust into the spotlight and maintaining her creative independence throughout it all. G—You’ve been touring a lot this year, specifically in North America. How have your North American audiences been receiving your shows? Is it different than performing for UK audiences?
Named for the Toronto area they grew up in, The Beaches are a far cry from a placid day on the lake. Led by singer/bassist Jordan Miller—with her sister and guitarist Kylie Miller, guitarist/keyboardist Leandra Earl and drummer Eliza Enman-McDaniel—the Canadian four-piece burst out of Toronto with their 2018 debut, Late Show, and have since built up an aura of dissident swagger. Taking home this year’s Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year, the all-fem rock quartet is bringing grunge, gloss, and 70s glamour to a predominantly male genre. Georgie caught up with Leandra to talk about the band’s latest music video, taking charge of their music, and three simple ways to keep women in the industry. G—Did you grow up together in Toronto? LE—Yeah, I met the girls in high school. Jordan and Kylie are sisters, so they’ve known each other a bit longer, but they grew up with Eliza in Toronto’s Beaches area. G—What kind of music were you listening to at that time? LE—We grew up listening to all of the music our parents listened to. That definitely influenced us while writing our debut album since we drew from a lot of the 70’s music that our