Words by: Sam Farringdon
At this point, it seems kinda pointless to write about Mac DeMarco with superlatives. It would be easy to rattle a bunch of tired cliches and obvious comparison points to encourage you to engage with this mini LP, but the truth is you’re probably already on board with the charming little bastard, or you’ve decided that his slightly off-kilter songs of the heart just ain’t your cup of meat. If you’re uninitiated, well this is as good a jumping off point as any, as all the hallmarks that made his previous records (particularly “2”, and “Salad Days”) so great, are here in a more or less compacted package.
Here, DeMarco uses his cheeky, easygoing charm, honey-sweet voice, and gentle earworming melodies to almost exclusively explore the notions around love: being in it, falling out of it, wanting it, not wanting it. The lyrics are reflective, simple and direct – Mac at his most romantic is also Mac at his most seductive. The unashamedly cheesy synths provide a gentle bedrock evocative of a hazy, pot induced dream, while the guitar slips and slides with sunny disposition. Keeping in style with his other records, the music pervades a sense of escapism, but the home-spun warmth draws you close, like the comfort of a lover’s embrace. As such, it’s a record that’s hard to actively not like, precisely because it’s so seemingly lightweight.
But a true pop craftsman knows that lightweight is forgettable unless you land your hooks, and DeMarco packs plenty of them. Whether it’s the propulsive acoustic guitar lick motoring ‘I’ve Been Waiting For Her’, the loping playfulness in the rhythm of ‘Just To Put Me Down’, or the sticky sweetness of the double tracked harmonies elevating the chorus of ‘A Heart Like Hers’, these are songs that will be echoing in your head long after Mac invites you ’round to his place for a cup of coffee at the record’s end.
And who does that, by the way? Just casually drops their address at the end of their record, inviting fans to just drop on by? (According to Mac’s reddit last Tuesday, 20 had already taken him up on the offer.) The lack of pretension surrounding DeMarco is as refreshing as it is intriguing, but it’s the charm and heart in his records that make him so endearing. Rest assured, if I ever find myself in Averne, I’d like to drop in on him myself.