watch homeshake’s new sci-fi fantasy music video
We spoke to the Montreal-based musician about his influences – from his 98-year-old Oma to the surreal universe of Haruki Murakami.
Photography Salina Ladha
This article originally appeared on i-D US.
When I saw HOMESHAKE perform at Market Hotel almost a year ago, he was wearing a Sci-Fi Fantasy baseball cap — a detail that seemed relatively insignificant at the time — though apparently, one I wouldn’t forget. And while the skate brand doesn’t seem that out of place on Peter Sagar, who first made a name for himself playing guitar in Mac DeMarco’s band, it’s also a fitting descriptor for his unique variety of indie-pop turned lo-fi R&B that’s evolved over the course of his three solo records to date. Peter’s forthcoming album, Helium, out 15 February, is his latest journey to outer space and the video for Just Like My, premiering exclusively on i-D, gives us a hint of just what we might find there.
When it comes to HOMESHAKE’s videos, Peter prefers not to be too involved. “I’m not a very visual person. Video in particular… it’s out of my comfort zone,” he says. “Whenever I get someone to do a video, I want them to do their own thing.” For Just Like My he enlisted his filmmaker friend, director Oliver McGarvey and German artist Eric Winkler, to interpret the song visually. Filmed just northeast of Berlin, close to the Polish border, the video evokes a weird sense of calm, nodding to themes of isolation and detachment that appear throughout the album, all the while maintaining a sense of playful whimsy.
“It’s tomorrow already and you’re home now and it’s daytime, but the room just tilted and you’re still floating. The chair where you throw your dirty clothes is dancing and she’s rising and the trees outside your window fill the room," the director offers by way of explanation. "The video is a gentle tribute to the tender moment between awake and asleep, and a plea to stay suspended in between a little longer.” It feels light — like helium.
I spoke with the Montreal-based musician to chat all things otherworldly that inspired Just Like My and his upcoming album, Helium, in all it's haziness; from Peter’s 98-year-old grandmother to the surrealist universe of Haruki Murakami.
What is Just Like My all about?
It’s sort of a vague song, but it comes back around to my Oma — my grandmother who’s 98 years old. Her memory is finally starting to go, but I feel like mine already went. She still has a lot of memory, even despite that, but I’m sort of turning into her before I turn into my parents.
When you watch this video, what do you think of?
Um, it’s very calm and kind of weird. It fits pretty good I think, because that’s how I feel pretty much all the time. Or maybe I’m just projecting.
Calm and weird. What sort of things were inspiring you at the time?
People ask me that question all the time and I never really have a good answer, partially due to how absent-minded I can be about stuff. Just feeling kind of weird and isolated of my own behest. Nobody’s isolating me or anything.
You were reading a lot of Haruki Murakami. Do you think his work influenced yours?
Yeah. My reading habits are really weird, where I’ll just read a whole bunch of books from one author and then I won’t read for like two years. And so, it’d been a couple years since I’d read like nine Don DeLillo books or whatever, so I needed something. I read four books and it was just sort of a coincidence, but it happened at the same time that I was writing the record. His stuff is very dreamy, subtle, kind of sci-fi fantasy sort of stuff. I like that a lot. Like any other medium you’re ingesting at the time, it’ll put a print on whatever you’re working on. I don’t know how specifically. I just kind of let it sit with me and then when I’m making something, I let that sit with me too.
Was there a particular story that you were really drawn to?
Did you ever read 1Q84?
No, I haven’t. Only The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
That one’s good. That’s another one that I’ve read. But 1Q84, it’s a weird love story told from these two perspectives. They cross paths when they’re really young and have a really meaningful experience and then they enter this alternative universe and sort of come back together. I don’t know. It’s a really long, weird love story with trippy shit going on. And I got really into it really fast.
That’s kind of great. It sounds like a really good story.
Yeah. I wish I had better reading habits and I just stuck with stuff, but it’s hard.
You’ve said that your first three albums have felt like a trilogy. How does Helium fit in?
Partially, why the other three felt like that to me is because they were all recorded in the same space and I recorded them with two friends of mine onto tape. This one I recorded at home, into a laptop, which I’ve never really done before. So the whole thing was a new experience. I finished it in July and even just in the time since then I’ve figured out some things that I would’ve done differently, but I feel that way about every record. Instead of booking time in a studio, I’d go into my room at home and record until like four in the morning. So it was quieter, more peaceful, and I had more time to think things through. And more malleable space, because tape is really constricting in different ways. I was able to experiment with things I never had before. It feels like a new journey. I don’t know if it’ll sound that way to anybody or if it’ll just sound like me, but whatever.
If you ever feel stuck, is there anything that you do to get out of your head?
Um, I watch a lot of Star Trek. That helps, which is weird. There’s just something that’s so comforting about it. You can just calm down. Watch a little. I’m watching Voyager right now. Watch a little Voyager, you know? Maybe it’s a really good episode. Maybe it’s a really bad one. Doesn’t matter! Try again. Or just wait a day.
You’re very into sci-fi?
Ever since I was a little kid I was.
Do you think the album feels more personal or different from the others in any way?
I don’t know. Maybe. I feel like I was in a much better place recording it than I was with some of the other ones. So there’s a lot less dark shit on it, which is nice, because that’s boring. It’s boring to be sad all the time. It might be more personal, but it maybe wouldn’t seem that way because it’s not really depressing or anything. Even the sadder songs I don’t think are particularly sad. Don’t need any more sad guys talking about how sad they are.
Because there are too many of them?
Yeah, I don’t want to be that. I’m much more comfortable with my whole self at this point, so I don’t have to act that way.