The title of Toronto resident Thomas Mazurkiewicz’s debut E.P, under the moniker Home Alone, goes a long way in describing the musical territory that he and other young ‘bedroom’ artists seem to be fond of occupying. Teddybears and Weed is an amusingly neat summation of a brand of wide-eyed, synth and guitar production that sounds born out of introspection, feeling like a kid, and faced with the worrying prospect of having to pretend to be a real, grown up person. As the title suggests, everything on here feels a little hazy – the reverb-drenched vocals on songs like Wishful Sinking and title track Teddybears and Weed are thrown far back into the mix, making it hard to decipher more than the odd lyric. Even so, every little detail feels nicely measured – the guitar on Sleep.Walk.In is simple and unchanging but keeps the song moving perfectly all the way through.
Given Trevor Powers’ recent meteoric rise, comparisons with Youth Lagoon feel somewhat unavoidable – by no means a bad thing. But with this seven track E.P. (available for free download on bandcamp – see below) Mazurkiewicz offers up a lovely and languid set of songs that are accomplished to the point of making any worries about familiar territory seem fairly irrelevant. It’s a less anxious collection than something like The Year of Hibernation or Arrange’s Plantation – Mazurkiewicz solution to worrying about things seems to be, according to his bandcamp, the fairly simple combination of the “Music I make, Blunts I Smoke.” It seems to work for him.