The new bad boy of indie music is finally back in Australia to perform at the 2015 Laneway Festival in Melbourne, alongside Courtney Barnett and Connan Mockasin. A perfect excuse to rediscover Mac DeMarco‘s third album Salad Days, released in April earlier this year. Half an hour long, the record is perfect for a short-but-sweet daydream, or even a Sunday road trip down the coast.
Even if you’re not so familiar with the talented Mac DeMarco, you’ve probably heard some of his songs. Hits such as “My Kind of Woman” or “Dreaming” have created quite a fuss, as well as “Ode to Viceroy”, which was used in the soundtrack of Gia Coppola’s brilliant first movie Palo Alto. These tracks are from Mac’s first two records, Rock’n’Roll Night Club, and the minimalist-titled 2.
Both of these albums have a chilled-out atmosphere, and most of the songs are semi-cheesy love ballads with energetic beats and kick-ass lyrics. Although designated as a ‘slacker’, the 24 year-old goofy character is despite all a perfectionist. His music has a bit of a nonchalant vibe but the virtuosity within it is still noticeable.
However, Salad Days has a more nostalgic tone, DeMarco having expressed that he was finished with writing carefree songs. In Shakespearean language, ‘Salad Days’ refers to a youthful time which is now long gone. That’s what the artist sings in his first tune – “Salad Days are gone, Remembering things just to tell ’em so long.” Quite a change from his happy-go-lucky past efforts; playtime is over.
The record already presents notable tracks, such as “Let My Baby Stay”, an unbelievably cute and quirky love song. Whereas tunes like “Treat Her Better” or “Chamber of Reflexion” are more self reflective and profound. Is DeMarco turning into a ‘Blue Boy’? Perhaps. Being 24 makes you think about life it would seem.
Don’t stress though, this one may be the album of maturity, but that doesn’t mean it’s monotonous at all. Thanks to his groovy acoustic guitar, the ‘DeMarco sound’ is still present, maybe just a little less upbeat. Kind of a crossover between Lou Reed’s husky voice and the harmonies of the Beach Boys in their sadder days.
Ultimately, the gap-toothed Canadian is coming back stronger than ever with the eerie and dreamy world that is Salad Days. Some people may miss the unconscious feeling of the two first albums, but this one is just way more thought provoking. And eh, a little bit of soul-searching never hurt anyone, right?
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada.
Latest album: Salad Days, released 1st April, 2014.
Sounds like: Kurt Vile, Tame Impala, Alex Calder.
Say what? DeMarco recently made a hilarious tune with Tyler the Creator named “Granny“. Quit everything you’re doing right now and check it out.
Amicalement vôtre, Charlotte