One of the more endearing elements of Mac DeMarco's often endearing rise to prominence has been the proliferation of side projects involving the members of his live band. Walter TV, the spastic psych-pop group fronted by DeMarco's bass player Pierce McGarry, put out a couple of excellent releases last year, and guitarist Peter Sagar is following suit with his project, Homeshake. Homeshake's first release, The Homeshake Tape, is very clearly the work of the same group of people, and to some extent splits the difference between Mac DeMarco and Walter TV, embracing the downbeat, jangly-guitared languor of some of DeMarco's work, while nodding to Walter TV's more experimental flourishes. "Northern Man" is perhaps the best marrying of these two aesthetics, with Sagar's shamblingly intricate guitar playing combining with a likeably lazy vocal into something redolent of the best Elephant 6 recordings. "Moon Woman", by contrast, is pure DeMarco. All smooth sleaze without the rough edges sanded down, the general creep providing cover for a tightly composed, totally guileless little love song. As with seemingly everything associated with Mac DeMarco, its always listenable, frequently interesting, and when all else fails it gets by on charm and personality.
The Homeshake Tape will be out on Fixture Records on January 29.