Release Date: Apr 1, 2014
Record label: Captured Tracks
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Dream Pop
With his second album ‘2’, Mac DeMarco established himself as a new breed of slacker-rock hero; a gap-toothed sweetheart with nothing but a song in his heart and, in one performance preserved for the ages on YouTube, a drumstick lodged where the sun don’t shine. Better yet, the Canadian funster was a great interview, cheerily regaling hacks who couldn’t believe their luck with tales of self-abuse, public nudity and selling one’s body for experimental science. But if ‘2’, with its wicked sense of humour and inventive songcraft, had the breeze-blown optimism of a guy who never knows which couch he’ll be surfing from one night to the next, ‘Salad Days’ finds that sprightly disposition tested to the full.
With his 2012 debut, 2, Canadian songwriter Mac DeMarco offered the world a look into his dazed but brilliant mind's eye, his songs landing somewhere between a hallucinogenic re-imagination of '70s soft rock, oddball outsider jams, and laid-back indie fare. The tunes were somehow both tuneful and antagonistic in the subtlest of ways, and DeMarco easily shifted between characters of the stoned joker and sincere balladeer, playing each remarkably convincingly. Salad Days picks up where the strange vibes of 2 left off, brightening the production and shying away from Mac's more insane impulses for a clearer picture of his immensely cracked idea of what pop music is.
With his colourful 2012 debut full-length, 2, and even more colourful persona, Mac DeMarco earned a reputation as the merry prankster of indie rock. And while he will hopefully forever hold on to that designation, on his new album, Salad Days, Mac should earn more credit as a perceptive, extremely affable singer-songwriter.It's always been easy to blur the line between Mac's antics and his music, but on Salad Days it becomes a lot clearer. He's honed his skills to write wonderfully weird, often gentle pop songs.
Mac DeMarco is a cool dude. He’s currently bobbing between ‘cult favourite’ and ‘genuine contender’, a place you could have found Kevin Parker three years ago, before he started hanging out with The Flaming Lips and making stadium-sized blasters like Elephant and Feels Like We Only Go Backwards. DeMarco has found his megastar buddy in Odd Future’s Tyler, The Creator, and it was reported, and subsequently verified with photos, that they were recording together.
If past releases from Canada's indie rock class clown Mac DeMarco proved anything, it's that he's not shy about playing the fool or writing songs—and even entire EPs—about nothing much in particular. But on sophomore full-length effort Salad Days—recorded in the midst of his hectic touring schedule—DeMarco nudges the looser and more absurdist elements of his early work to one side with a selection of tunes that offer increasingly earnest perspectives on his usual down-at-heel romanticism. .
“Ode to Viceroy”, Mac DeMarco’s sun-dappled tribute to cheap cigs from his 2012 album 2, hasn’t lost its smolder. It’s probably the Brooklyn-via-Montreal singer and songwriter’s best-known tune—a laid-back guitar-pop daydream, as wobbly and welcoming as a backyard hammock—and it captures a lot of his music’s appeal. “Viceroy” is about taking pleasure in something that could kill you, and the lethal paradox is part of the draw.
At the end of Act I of Antony and Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen speaks fondly about her wild youth: “My salad days, when I was green in judgment: cold in blood...” While Mac DeMarco’s third full-length album under his own name sonically harks back to Cleopatra’s alluring and warm longing for the past, his lyrics suggest that the Canadian whiz kid has learned from his own childhood heyday and is now trying to spread his wisdom instead of diving into nostalgia. It’s a good look for him and an excellent return of the Mac. .
The salad days, according to Mac DeMarco, are gone. "Rollin' through life to roll over and die," he sings on the title track of his immensely likable second album. Rarely has a reflection on ageing and obsolescence sounded so untroubled. DeMarco is a 23-year-old Canadian based in Brooklyn, whose easygoing approach to life – he likes to record at home in his underwear – gives his music a languid, carefree feel, even when the subject is chronic anxiety.
Mac DeMarco has somehow acquired a cult of personality by playing it nice and servile, winning fans and making friends with his balmy embrace through a punishing touring regimen. His buck-toothed grin never shows any signs of wear, however, and in those brief periods of rest he writes songs that ruminate on where he really wants to be. It may be a bit premature for the Canadian pop savant to sweat out the stresses of being away from home, but such is the crux of his entire body of work - a devoted, sensitive suitor who eternally daydreams about going back to enjoying the domesticity of life.
After years in the indie doldrums as the main man in Makeout Videotape, 23-year-old Canadian Mac DeMarco released his first full-length album (the playfully titled 2) last year, achieving real word-of-mouth success. It saw DeMarco patent his peculiar blend of off-kilter melodies, winningly laidback, scruffy arrangements and some killer songwriting. Salad Days is a real progression.
With each new release, Mac DeMarco's goofy shtick drops away a little more in favour of stronger songs, more impressive musicianship and higher fidelity. Written after a year and a half of non-stop touring, Salad Days is full of DeMarco's warped-and-surfy guitar lines running parallel to his casually delivered vocals. Each tune is a memorable soft rock conglomeration of, roughly, Jonathan Richman, Pavement, Harry Nilsson and the Kinks.
After a year of smiling for the camera, Mac DeMarco needs to rest his eyes. Goofing around comes naturally, but don’t go thinking that facet of his personality comes out of nowhere. ‘Salad Days’, Mac’s first record since breakout LP, 2012’s ‘2’, sticks to a traditional routine of ‘musician gets famous, musician isn’t sure if they like it’, but there’s more to it than that.If ‘2’ saw in the party, ‘Salad Days’ is the first thing in the morning aftermath, where the line between uproariously drunk and life-threateningly hungover is foggy.
One should, of course, be wary of judging someone's character based on a few interviews and YouTube videos, but nevertheless, it's hard to avoid the feeling that Mac DeMarco may be a man ill-equipped for fame. He certainly doesn't look like a star in the ascendant. One journalist, obliged to speak to DeMarco while seated in a King's Cross doorway so the 23-year-old singer-songwriter could chain-smoke, became increasingly concerned that passers-by might think that, rather than interviewing a hotly tipped new artist, he was pestering a rough sleeper.
Mac DeMarco has taken an interesting path to maturity. The Canadian singer-songwriter’s earliest work, both as Makeout Videotape and on his debut album Rock and Roll Night Club, had a gleeful, wanton absurdity to them, but that all seemed to change once DeMarco put out his second album, 2. It seemed as if DeMarco had grown up by leaps and bounds overnight.
Just like Future Islands last week, Mac DeMarco is also an artist whose live show becomes impossible to separate from his songs and his persona. In a perfect world, each copy of Salad Days, his sophomore LP, would come with your own portable Mac DeMarco to keep you company while listening to the collection, cracking self-deprecating and just barely-not-creepy jokes about his own songwriting. The fact that it becomes difficult to talk about DeMarco without incorporating his persona, or more likely fixating on it, points to the singular problem in his recordings; they are as forgettable as they are pleasant in the moment.
Mac DeMarco rightfully earned his title as indie rock’s class clown with his first two albums. However, for his latest outing, Salad Days, he pumps the brakes on the shenanigans, despite previewing the album with a fake song titled, “A Little Bit of Pussy”. That one-off video, uploaded to DeMarco’s YouTube channel a few months ago, piqued the interest of his growing army of fans but didn’t do much to sway those who weren’t already drawn in by his usual antics.
"Macky's been a bad, bad boy," Mac DeMarco declares on his second album. Glance around the Internet, and you can see why: The 23-year-old Montreal indie rocker loves to get naked, smoke and crossdress. It'd be easy to write him off as another product of Generation Selfie. But Salad Days is packed with wry, knowing lyrics and washed-out vocals, like a meeting of Stephen Malkmus and Marc Bolan.
A little bit of seriousness worked wonders for indie oddball Mac DeMarco’s debut, 2, which more cohesively developed his infectiously limber jangle while shedding the extraneous Ween-esque tomfoolery. Sophomore effort Salad Days goes one further, bringing a wider variety of old-school styles into the mix and injecting it all with thoughtful observations on life and love, morphing the young singer-songwriter from a waggish vagabond into a nonchalantly perceptive minstrel à la Double Fantasy-era John Lennon. Fusing airy jams to slinky, late-night soft rock and distorted lo-fi psych-pop, the record is a masterpiece in mellow mood-setting.
opinion byAUSTIN REED In the event of a confrontation with the police, Mac DeMarco is probably not an ideal accomplice. From a live-music perspective, his reputation precedes him; we’re talking about the guy who, at one point, got so bored with on-stage full frontal nudity that his next logical step was to shove a drumstick up his ass. Countless other instances just like this one have become a mainstay for DeMarco over his relatively short stint in the business.
First of all: I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you had to read the words Real Estate and Mac DeMarco in the same headline. I’m sorry that your laptop or tablet or whatever started combusting in protest from the amount of breezy indie rock it was being asked to inhale. And I’m sorry that these are ….
Mac DeMarco’s new album title, Salad Days, is an apt way to describe the Canadian songwriter’s third exquisite offering. Just like those two little simple words that, when combined, evoke quirkiness and refelction, this new record finds DeMarco serving up his unusual sounds, this time as a lighter dish.Behind its fresh and sunny façade, Salad Days still has much of that sleazy idiosyncrasy that fans have come to treasure; however, in this new endeavor, DeMarco shows a newfound sense of maturity that makes the album his most relatable to date. While in 2 (Captured Tracks, 2012) he was playing the know-it-all kid, the new record finds him feeling a bit spent from the hassle of growing up.
The arrival of spring carries with it the hope of better weather and the potential for spending time garden-side eating a nice bowl of crispy greens; a ritual indicative of the lighter fare and less-is-more mentality of the warmer half of the year. And what better way to celebrate the season than with a new release from Canada’s Mac DeMarco, aptly titled Salad Days. As the title suggests, DeMarco’s third solo effort is much lighter on the palette than his previous releases, in terms of that endearing sleaziness evident in his live shows and ever present on his past records.
Mac DeMarco Salad Days (Captured Tracks) We last left Mac DeMarco as a hyper-underground weirdo writing songs somewhere out in Small Town, British Columbia. Since then, this star has risen on the tongues of kid sisters and Target commercials. The music industry moves in mysterious ways. DeMarco remains signed to Captured Tracks, and his second (technically fourth) disc sticks to the basics.
Prior to the advent of indie, the creation of odd music had a place and a purpose. Odd music was made by outsiders – people whose characteristics made them different, and as a result, outcasts from society in one sense or another. Music was an artistic vehicle for revelation, rendering and expressing those characteristics in a way that manifested their underlying beauty.