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Homeshake - The Homeshake tape

 ‘The Homeshake Tape’ is a comforting example of what you can achieve if you set about recording an album in your house.

It is the debut album by Homeshake, the solo recording project of Montreal-based musician Peter Sagar (with the help of Jackson MacIntosh and Mac DeMarco), containing 9 endearingly under-produced tracks all tied together by the presence of some delicious, clean guitar licks that amble right the way through – quickly becoming the marquee element of each song, and the album in general, as it guides the other instruments through the more tranquil aspects of r&b, jazz and funk.

The 9 tracks on offer are all fairly short, never venturing over 3 minutes with the exception of the first track ‘Haters’ and the final track ‘Moon Woman.’ This, however, feels right given the soothing tones that could carry on for a little while longer if they wanted, but have no need.

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Given the short track lengths, unfortunately there’s only 25 minutes to enjoy. But they are 25 flowery, endearing minutes during which Homeshake never try to raise too much of a fuss by carrying the tone at a steady pace. You feel almost as if the band came up with the first track, and in the midst of doing so found a groove that they couldn’t help but carry on with.

This is pretty evident by around track 5 when you realise that the album isn’t going to swerve off the track it is currently taking or try to ruffle any feathers, which is fine given that up to that point has been such a blissful experience (apart from the random sound effects thrown into the start of ‘Haters’ and ‘Northern Man’ amongst others, which are a little strange).

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The start of track 6 ‘Getting Down’ is another example of these odd sound effects. Lazers and explosions are heard with screams of “DIE!” before the beginning of a song which is almost reminiscent of the suave musicianship of the Doors; all it is missing is the sound of Jim Morrison’s harrowing lizard poetry.

The sound effects do at least offer you clarity that you are now listening to a new song; without them, the tracks would arguably all melt into one as they are all pretty similar. This is about all the criticism I can muster for this album, and in a lot of ways it isn’t even criticism – Homeshake’s cruise control funk sound is impossible to dislike or get tired of. There isn’t too much going on, and what is happening is done with effortless style and with enough aplomb to make you want them to just keep going. With that in mind, at the end of the 25 minutes you will find yourself wanting a little more, although you could just listen to it again loads more times – like I did.

Ryan McMurty