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Welcome To Lovers House EP

Adam Humphrey from Sheffield is the mind and crafty hand of psyche-minimalist project Toucans. Welcome To Lovers House features three songs, each one based on a different snapshot of a quirky handmade loop in combination with an out-of-tune guitar – certainly not out of tune because its player can’t tune a guitar, but rather because he loves a good coincidental pitch. Behold, the title track is built on a cranky loop that sounds like a bowed electric guitar and comes across like a trip to late 60s psych America. A reference to legends like The Electric Prunes or The Paupers would be apt if Adam had recorded this track with more of a rock backing band.

‘I Swear to God You Will See My Ghost’ seemingly wears Syd Barrett’s Madcap as it starts, but then guitar, bass drum, tambourine and slap-back echo accompany a vocal a la The Curtains. This two-and-a-half minute piece also sounds very 60s, but this time a little less whimsical in favour of a good melody – crookedly sung, of course. There is a certain melancholy and sincerity on this EP. The sparse instrumentation leaves enough room to hear the reverb trail off. The layered vocals ricochet along within a narrow bandwidth.

And ever too soon here comes the concluding track, ‘Oh, Sordid Bones’, by far my personal favourite piece in this short assortment – contemporary anti-folk in the spirit of far off-commerce stuff like Kurt Weisman or Asa Irons rather than tripping down memory lane like the first two tracks. With this epilogue the Toucans cassette EP made it into my liking as it courageously chokes on a dissonant last chord.

One might call into question whether a ten-minute tape of home recorded material should be reviewed. Personally I think it should happen more often.