Homeshake - Midnight Snack (Sinderlyn)

Mac De Marco's guitarist returns with an album of spaced-out romantic musings

Released Sep 17th, 2015 via Sinderlyn / By Ben Wood
Homeshake - Midnight Snack (Sinderlyn) The other week, Bearded reviewed the new mini-album from Mac DeMarco. Another One saw the Canadian slacker king deliver a set of charming, suavely romantic ballads and very nice it was too. Just weeks later, his former guitarist Peter Sagar releases his second album as Homeshake - and it works perfectly as a weirder, more zoned-out take on the same idea.

Sagar is the man who provides DeMarco's instantly memorable jazzy quitar-lines, and Midnight Snack sees him combine his trademark licks with falsetto vocals and minimal, spaced-out 80s-esque grooves. An arty take on loverman R'n'B, these songs of yearning and loneliness are inspired by the intense homesickness that inspired him to quit DeMarco's band for a life of domestic bliss and home recording. However, the oddness of the production lifts them from being any kind of conventional bedroom soul record, into more intriguing territory. Eno producing Prince on Vicodin, maybe...

The influence of early house music and minimal Japanese electro-pop is noticeable in the tinny drum machine rhythms and keyboard-heavy melodies. But for every affecting, sincere tune like 'Give It To Me' is a moment of sheer WTF-ness. 'Under The Sheets', for instance, really foregrounds the album's 'it's not about the song' vibe by fucking around with Sagar's voice so he sounds like a malfunctioning robot. Such ballsy production moves undermine the supposed sincerity of the genre. Postmodern, huh?

This is one seriously spacious record - built out of tinny beats, stripped-down guitar riffs, simple key chords, the occasional cooing backing vocal, and that's about it. It's all about atmosphere, space and the texture of each and every sound. You are unlikely to find yourself singing many of the songs off this album, but if you play it on repeat you will find your brainwaves altering dramatically.

Repetitive and hypnotic, this is a late-night album for sure: if you put it on in the morning, you'd never get out of bed. Sensual and snails-paced, it is perfectly titled - the ideal album for that time when your eyelids are heavy and your brain is halfway to la-la-land.