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MAC DEMARCO

"Hi, Mac Here. First off, thank you for listening to my new record. This one is my cowboy record. Cowboy is a term of endearment to me, I use it often when referring to people in my life. The rusty old grinning pin on the front and back covers of the record was purchased from a man in the mountains somewhere in the Nantahala National Forest between Chattanooga, TN and Asheville, NC.

Where I grew up there are many people that sincerely wear cowboy hats and do cowboy activities, these aren’t the people I’m referring to. Before realizing that your surroundings don’t necessarily define who you are, I felt very uncomfortable in the company of that culture. This record was recorded in my garage during the first two weeks of January 2019. I played all the instruments, except for a little bit of keyboard here and there, which was played by my touring keyboard player, and friend for most o me life now, Alec Meen. My travelling sound man Yakitori Santar helped me track it and put it together as well. It was raining a lot in Los Angeles while we were recording, you can hear it tapping on the windows of the garage here and there if you listen closely."

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Classic Mac this, snappy CR-78, lo-fi chord swells and Demarco's unmistakeable vocals. Add these classic sounds to the more esoteric offerings (the simmering funk of 'Choo Choo' or the minimalist lolloping groove of 'Nobody' for example) and you have the most rounded and satisfying offering yet.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive green/black mix coloured vinyl, with reverse artwork, gatefold sleeve, 4 page 12" insert, sticker.

LP Info: Black vinyl, gatefold sleeve, 4 page 12” insert, Sticker.

Captured Tracks have the album you've all been waiting for. Mac Demarco's 'This Old Dog' is finally upon us and for long-term fans or new listeners alike, it's a treat. Starting with the warming tribute, 'My Old Man' which begins rich with woody CR78 percussion and sumptuous acoustic guitar, soon to break into Demarco's unmistakeable vocal drawl. As the chorus grows from the tapestry of sound, the warmth of the reticent synth swells surrounds the stero image in a comforting blanket of organic haze. It's indicative of Demarco's earlier work, but more confidently approached, brilliantly minimal still but undeniably rich in it's simplicity. 

'Baby You're Out' grows from a more off-centred rhythmic approach but undergoes a shuffling transformation to swoon into the folky redux of the main choral refrain, it's an approach that could be jarring but in the capable sonwriting hands of the man himself, it predictably goes by without a hitch. Speaking of transformations, Mac seems to undergo a tranformation himself from shuffled syncopator into sleazy lounge singer in the oozingly laid-back 80's synth sizzle of 'For The First Time'. Decending digital pads and simmering DX7 tines coalesce into a melting-pot of reverb and polyester garments. 

There are pieces here like 'Sister' that really display the no-frills talent that has endeared us all to him for so long, comprising of hazy pitch-shifted guitar sitting right back in the mix while heartbreaking lyrics swim ever so briefly around the wistful plucking. 'Dreams From Yesterday' oozes with crackling tubes and hazy summer dreams to counteract the minimal aura of it's precident. And so it continues, from warm and full-bodied to cold and reticent, there isn't a bad moment here, only different emotions conveyed through a variety of techniques, and every one of them perfectly executed. 




STAFF COMMENTS

Mine says: "Mac DeMarco must be some kind of joke act, right?" Has this thought ever crossed your mind? I came across it in a festival review and I felt for the poor guy who just didn't seem to get what Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV (I'll give you a moment to let that settle in...) is all about. If you can relate but somehow feel intrigued, 'This Old Dog' is your perfect entryway into the wacky world of Mac DeMarco. It seems like everyone's favourite sleaze man is trying to show us that he has grown up, without having lost an inch of his quirkiness. It is okay to be vulnerable sometimes, the songs about his troubled relationship with his father seem to confess, just don't bury your head in the sand. 'This Old Dog' is stripped back, simpler and therefore easier to digest than his previous outings. It's dreamy and reflective but always light-hearted, and will leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling in your chest. Careful, though, you might feel like you're floating on a cloud.

Like the days of Steely Dan, Harry Nilsson or Prince releasing a classic every year (or less) comes Mac DeMarco's Another One, a mini-LP announced almost one year to the date of the meteorically successful Salad Days. Conceived and recorded entirely by himself in a short period between a relentless tour schedule at his new place in Far Rockaway, Queens, Another One is eight, freshly written songs, expanding the arsenal of Mac's already impressive catalog. There’s a bittersweet, romantic sensibility present. The overall feeling is lost love, or perhaps love never found, yet Mac embraces this without making it an overly somber experience for the listener. It’s at times haunting and warm, and a bit more refined and sophisticated, but still plenty playful, retaining the guts and soul of classic Mac.

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP includes MP3 Download Code.

'Salad Days', is the follow up to 2012's lauded 'Mac DeMarco 2' which saw the Edmonton local propelled into the limelight. Written and recorded around a relentless tour schedule (which picked up all over again as soon as the LP was done), 'Salad Days' gives the listener a very personal insight into what it's all about to be Mac amidst the craziness of a rising career in a very public format.

The lead single, "Passing Out Pieces," set to huge overdriven organ chords, contains lines like "..never been reluctant to share, passing out pieces of me.." Clearly, this isn't the same record that breezily gave us "Dreamin," and "Ode to Viceroy" but the result of what comes from their success. "Chamber of Reflection," a track featuring icy synth stabs and soulful crooning, wouldn't be out of place on a fantasy Shuggie Otis and Prince collaboration. Standout tracks like these show Mac's widening sound, whether insights into future directions or even just welcome one-off forays into new territory.

Still, this is musically, lyrically and melodically good old Mac DeMarco, through and through. The same crisp John Lennon/Phil Spector era homegrown lush production that could have walked out of Geoff Emerick's mixing board in 1972, but with that peculiar Mac touch that's completely of right now.

STAFF COMMENTS

Ryan says: Having set the tone with his second album ‘2’ back in 2012 with an ode to cheap cigarettes and song after song of whimsical ambivalence, Mac Demarco offers up some fresh delights for us to sink our teeth into. This time there’s a few darker moments from the haunting synthpop masterpiece “Chamber Of Reflection” to a frosty “Passing Out Pieces” revealing the toll touring the world has taken on him. When Demarco isn’t passing out pieces he takes the time to dish out some of his best gap-toothed advice yet with “Let Her Go” and “Treat Her Better” topping it all off with his usual brand of crooning vocals, languid guitars and those ridiculously funky basslines, a definite step up from the last album. Mac takes things a little (only a tiny bit) more seriously this time and pulls off his best record yet!

Now, all of six months later, Mac is back with his first proper full length, Mac DeMarco 2. As opposed to RNRNC, “2” is a concerted effort to produce a cohesive work that showcases Mac’s natural ability as a songwriter, singer and producer. With a new arsenal of recording gear, the fidelity has substantially improved without compromising the immediacy and organic quality of his prior releases under any monicker. The results are immediately rewarding, from the warm “Cooking Up Something Good” to the heartfelt “My Kind of Woman.” It’s obvious Mac is presenting himself musically in the most sincere way possible, no matter what happens in his wild videos or live shows. “Freaking out the Neighborhood,” Mac’s apologetic ode to his loved ones about such public behavior, shows that Mac DeMarco is still with us, coming along for the ride, getting everyone else in trouble. Even so, the maturation process of Mac DeMarco, recording artist, is in full swing. He did, after all, turn 22 this April.

STAFF COMMENTS

Ryan says: His first full album, full of quirky garage gems, slightly odd but in a good way... I think it's awesome anyway.


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