With an oxymoron for a moniker, Halifax’s The Nomadic Homes seems to be on their way to making enigmatic the next three-syllable word used on them. Then again, with a debut EP dropped just mere weeks ago, duo Chris Rayner and Issie Patterson are admittedly just getting started—as a new band that is.
Patterson, a flutist and guitarist has already appeared in a couple of other bands, including the delightfully named Trippin’ Hippies and Elk Party, while Rayner made his start first as a solo artist and then with Wake Up Earthquake while studying in PEI. But while Rayner once sought out a heavy rock sound and Patterson’s made her folk rounds, the pair is uniting for something different.
The seven-song Mesas EP throws together some polished, hazy pop as it nods to a psychedelic heyday that is still going strong out east. “Suddenly Feasible” plays up its mysterious meanings as it sways along to Rayner’s dreamy falsetto vocals before bopping into the delicious riff of “New Sounds,” a bounding interlude that sets The Nomadic Homes apart from so much psych pop.
Still, the crashing chorus that follows on “Hidden Messages” adds a welcome punch as fingers fly on some edgier notes. Meanwhile the long instrumental open on “Mono Sense” only feeds into those elongated solos before launching into yet another poetic set as the band luxuriates in the notes and sounds—elevating the result beyond the kitchen set the band’s brief bio suggests.
“Culminate” lives up to its name and starts to soar from the opening as Rayner’s muted vocals take a backseat to the pointed chords punctuating the repetitive verses. And winding “Fading from the Instance” brings Mesas to its drawn-out close, weaving in and out for six-plus minutes as it strolls, steady and lively, to the final key.
The Nomadic Homes may still be so new that they’ve only got one tweet to their name, but neither Patterson nor Rayner are, and it shows on their latest project’s debut. And as they pull in all their older touches, there’s something refreshingly concrete to the hazy pop they’re now swirling around in.
Top Track: “Mono Sense”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)