COLUMN: Mac DeMarco releases soft, introspective album



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Mac DeMarco performs on the Outdoor stage during opening day at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, on April 14. DeMarco will perform at the Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park in Indianapolis on Sept. 19. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service Buy Photos

The weather is partly cloudy. The sun is moving in and out. It’s 75 degrees, and the wind is blowing slightly. It's the perfect weather to put on Mac DeMarco's latest album.

If you are a fan, you have a chance to see DeMarco, who is on his way to Indianapolis for a show with The Flaming Lips at 7 p.m. Sept. 19.

Mac DeMarco, a Canadian singer-songwriter, is known for his funky, woozy guitar effects and relaxing music. In April 2009, he self-released a collection of songs called “Heat Wave,” which he wrote and recorded. He sold 500 copies, but his momentum did not end there.

DeMarco became popular after the release of his album “2” in late 2012 and found more popularity after “Salad Days” in 2014, which reached No. 30 on the Billboard 200.

Three full-length LP’s, five releases and eight years later, DeMarco is in the center of show business, playing with well-known bands and giving his fans his address. 

“Stop on by, I’ll make you a cup of coffee,” he said after giving out his New York address in “My House by the Water” from his 2015 album “Another One.”

Two years after the release of “Another One,” DeMarco is back with another great album, “This Old Dog.” Released in May 2017, “This Old Dog” is full of soft sounds and introspective lyrics, all of which were recorded in DeMarco’s home in Los Angeles.

The album opens up with “My Old Man,” one of my personal favorites. The track is filled with guitar that stays steady throughout the song, accompanied by DeMarco’s slow voice.  

“Oh no, looks like I’m seeing more of my old man in me,” DeMarco sings, maybe about his father, maybe not.

In an interview with Pitchfork, DeMarco’s mom said that his father was a "charming guy" but also "an alcoholic and an addict."

“This Old Dog” is the second track on the album. It’s a slow song with Mac’s signature woozy-sounding guitar, and it’s filled with great lyrics that shine through the instruments.

The fifth song on the album, “One Another” is incredibly DeMarco-esque. I can’t find another way to describe it. Like a lot of the other songs, this one is also filled with introspective lyrics.

“Hey kid, everybody’s prone to some mistakes/If you’d always kept it straight, you’d never learn,” DeMarco sings.

Two songs after “One Another,” DeMarco slows the album down with a one-minute song.

“Turns out not every dog/Has his day,” DeMarco sings over the soft sounds of a guitar.

The short, quiet track is full of pensive lyrics and soft sounds.

“Anytime you’re hearing this/Sister, know my heart goes out to you,” DeMarco sings quietly as the music fades out.

Two tracks later, DeMarco brings the energy back up with “A Wolf Who Wears Sheep's Clothes.” The song is very Tom Petty and Billy Joel-sounding at the beginning as the harmonica makes its way in over the guitar.

One of the slowest songs, “Watching Him Fade Away,” closes out the album. The song opens up with the sounds of a keyboard and DeMarco’s voice.

“Haven’t got the guts to call him up,” DeMarco sings over the soft piano. “Walk around as if you never cared in the first place.”

The song is only two minutes long, but to the listener, it may feel like much longer. The absence of guitar and drums leaves the listener wondering when they’re going to hop in on the song, and since they never do, it feels like the song never starts. 

The song ends with DeMarco saying, “Watching him fade away,” as the music quickly disappears.

DeMarco is playing at The Lawn at White River State Park in Indianapolis with The Flaming Lips at 7 p.m. Sept. 19. Tickets are still on sale for $44 on ticketmaster.com. 

My playlist this week, "#6 Mac DeWho?" includes artists like Phoenix, Washed Out, Mac DeMarco and King Krule. 

Some of the songs I added to this playlist have the same funky sound as Mac DeMarco does, and others remind me of his style. Mac DeMarco has his own sound, as do most of the artists on "#6 Mac DeWho?" 

This playlist is good for all things funky and relaxing – walks to class, homework, hanging out on a porch or anywhere else you want to feel at peace. Listen to it here. 

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