Unlike most of us, Peter Sagar — also known as Homeshake — was staying at home a lot, long before the pandemic. Sagar wrote the majority of his fifth studio album, Under the Weather, in 2019, when he was going through a long, unrelenting period of sadness. “I was in a deep, deep depression,” he recalls of that time period now. “Tours were breaking me. It was awful.” Sagar and his partner were living in Montreal and while everyone was out being social, he was inside listening to ambient music, binging Star Trek, and writing songs. (Sound familiar?) “It was a bit of a dark pit,” he says. “That’s kind of what the whole album is about.”
Capturing the cloudy sound of a depressive funk was no simple feat, especially in the headspace Sagar was in for over a year. For that reason, he decided to enlist his friend, Jerry Paper’s Lucas Nathan, to help with production on the record. Having Nathan contribute helped Sagar dial back some of “dry, pristine digital sound” that defined his fourth studio album, Helium, and add back personal analog touches that drew people to the Homeshake project in the first place.
“I didn’t realize how much I missed having a second set of ears. It’s pretty invaluable,” Sagar says. He would send all the of tracks back and forth with Nathan over the course of 2019, which made the process a longer one than he was used to. “There are a lot of things that I probably wouldn’t have done that Lucas did do. I would tend to do a lot of softening of things, a lot of making everything super bassy and gentle. Lucas was aware that sometimes you needed some punch and grit.” To Sagar, those additions made the record what it is — a melodic, honest look at personal emotional struggle.
Tickets £16 + venue levy + bf
Town Hall Parade, Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RJ