Mac Demarco - Salad Days
Captured Tracks (USA); 2014 | Indie-Pop, Chill-Core
Based on the opening few tracks, you’d be forgiven for thinking this record was stylistically an extension of 2. A number of songs, including the title-track, stick to the upbeat twangy guitar lines and funky bass combo that’s become Mac’s signature sound. Make no mistake, there’s plenty of bouncy twang-jams on Salad Days, but the use of a synthesiser, most notably on the creepy/sexy track “Chamber of Reflection,” adds a dynamic that separates this album musically from its predecessor.
The song writing on this record is more focused and meaningful than on either of his previous releases. He manages to maintain the simplicity of songs like “My Kind of Woman” but ties them to solid emotional ideas, each of them different – all killer, no filler. Little spoken adlibs add a bit of classic DeMarco levity to some of the darker tracks. He ends “Goodbye Weekend” simply with “ah! gigi bungsu!” (“wisdom teeth” in Indonesian). At the end of instrumental closer, “Jonny’s Odyssey,” he thanks us for joining him and assures us we’ll see him again soon. The pleasure is all ours, Mac.
You’d be hard-pressed to find another current indie act that matches Mac DeMarco’s sincerity and straightforwardness (especially on a heavily concentrated hype-band label like Captured Tracks). What allows his music to flourish in such a typically ironic scene is his acute sense of the difference between seriousness and solemnity. The silliness and lack of melodrama doesn’t detract from the genuineness of what he’s singing; it just makes it a bit more real. Salad Days is the sound of a guy completely at ease with himself – yeah he’s got some issues, but y’know, that’s life, man. What’s the point of getting all worked up? – “take it slow, Brother.”