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Canadian born Indie artist Mac DeMarco has always attracted a very peculiar fan base. That fan base has gradually expanded as he has grown as an artist. His chain-smoking, goofy, free-flowing attitude has made him stand out unlike any other artist around today. I’ve always found it odd how his goofy buffoon persona translates to the intricate way he goes about making his music. But, that’s a big reason why people (including me) adore him. It’s something that I believe no other artist has the ability to live up to. As soon as Mac performed on stage with a drum stick up his bum, it created a reputation for him. A reputation that is very hard to shake off, so he ran with it. Kind of admirable, in the strangest way possible.
His 2014 hit album ‘Salad Days’ brought a lot of attention to him, and is arguably his most beloved among people. His new album ‘This Old Dog,’ is a continuation of the 2014 record. Although, his new record is more or less stripped of the psychedelic, otherworldly sound he had before. The growth as an artist has been evident.
The new record continues to showcase DeMarco’s singer/songwriter ability, honing in on feelings of genuine love, and talking about family history. He combines it with beautiful acoustic melodies and hazy synths. Hit single ‘On the Level’ was described by Mac as the “sister song” to his hit song ‘Chamber of Reflection.’ His description made the track pop out to me immediately. It was pretty evident by the heavy, flowing use of synths and the vocals being used as more of a quiet background.
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This is Mac’s finest album to date, and most reflective. He opens the door to his past in this album. His message is similar, but relates more to his family. ‘My Old Man,’ and ‘On the Level’ reflect on the lack of love between DeMarco and his father. DeMarco describes in the opening track his fear of being like his dad. He then lightens the mood on other tracks with a softer, dreamier production on songs like ‘Baby You’re Out,’ and ‘A Wolf Who Wears Sheep Clothes.’ DeMarco continues to spill accidental wisdom throughout the entirety of the LP. His melancholic lines come off beautifully and touch you emotionally.
Overall, I absolutely adore this album. His third album is not my favorite that he’s created, but it’s his cleanest. DeMarco doesn’t stray too far away from what his strengths are. However, he changes his approach just enough to keep fans happy, while attracting a new crowd.
Mac DeMarco is currently on tour until late November, traveling with The Flaming Lips for a good portion coming up this fall. Be sure to check out his new album ‘This Old Dog.’ Also be sure to go see him on tour this summer, his performances will surely blow you away!
Sophomore journalism student at Ball State University. Lover of music, travel, and photography.