Album Reviews

Homelife – Exotic Interlude

(Republic Of Music) UK release date: 30 September 2009

homelife-2A lot has changed for Homelife since their days with Ninja Tune, or it has if Exotic Interlude is anything to go by.

On albums like Guru Man Hubcap Lady they achieved all manner of instrumental colour and even veered towards tribal influences, often sounding like eight people sat around the fire with their instruments.

The same instrumental colour is evident on this record, with Paddy Steer and Tony Burnside often improvising with the materials they have to create new sounds, but here the approach is far more song based – and it works.

Some of the songs are contented, with Sunday Streets a soporiphic listen with its chromatic guitar lines, while the contented Lincoln Square states how “I’m exactly where I want to be, in the middle with you.” This mood is backed by the lazy slide of the Hawaiian guitar on the title track, itself not in a hurry to go anywhere before Lazy Man makes himself known.

The flip side to this is More Wine, its tumbling rhythms masking a slightly more sinister message within its awkward harmonies. “When the leaves start falling, then we’ll find out who is who,” declares Burnside, and a shiver goes through the music. Atlas is more comforting in response, though here again a slightly restless mood is reinforced by some background tension, with percussion sounds like a hamster on a wheel.

The name ‘Homelife’ implies something easy and comforting, like your favourite slippers or eating your mother’s fruit cake. Sometimes that happens in Exotic Interlude, and you can lie back and smile dreamily, but the slight edge keeps the listener on their toes. This combination that Steer and Burnside bring to their songs works well, and seals their best and most intimate album to date.

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More on Homelife
Homelife – Exotic Interlude
Homelife – Guru Man Hubcap Lady