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Jan 05/2015

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.”


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


Tyler Shaw is going through a renaissance. After exploding onto the scene and the charts in 2012 with his hit single “Kiss Goodnight” and a wildly successful debut album that followed, it’s hard to imagine what the Canadian pop singer could possibly need to reinvent. But after two years of writing and exploring, Shaw has taken the reigns on developing a new album and a new sound that’s better in tune with his growth as an artist. Just before the release of his new single “With You”, Georgie caught up with Shaw over the phone to talk about his upcoming album, mental health, and the feelings he’s harnessed into a musical renewal. G— What were some of the biggest differences for you between making the upcoming album and making Yesterday? TS—Yesterday was more so “I’m a new artist, I don’t really know what I want to do. This sounds cool on my voice, so does this.” With this album on the other hand, I know what I want. I know what melodies I want to go to and what I want to talk about. [Yesterday] came out in 2015, and ever since then, I mean, you go through life experiences


Dear Rouge

  A few years ago, Danielle McTaggart was ready to throw in the towel on her music career. Now she and her husband, Drew, make up the powerhouse duo known as Dear Rouge and have two full-length albums and a Juno to their name. Known for their hook-driven tracks—and being “the nicest couple in Canadian music”—Dear Rouge just dropped their sophomore LP, Phases. The record recounts a season of emotional extremes for the couple, including winning the 2016 Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year, and losing a loved one. We caught up with Danielle over the phone to talk about finding joy in music again, and the personal and public significance of Phases. G—On your website, you describe your style as “sinewy, hook-driven indie rock”. Where did that particular style evolve from? DM—I was always very into hook-y music with beautiful melodies. I grew up listening to The Carpenters and they have beautiful melodic parts, but I also always loved harder music and really rock-driven music. Bands like Metric or Yeah Yeah Yeahs or St. Vincent were hugely motivating for me, and I loved that these frontwomen were powerhouses. They’re very confident and trying to push the boundaries while