By Will Bateman (@WIllBateman6611)
Mac Demarco’s most recent full-length, the acclaimed Salad Days, defined his scruffy indie melodica without compromising the lo-fi DIY of his previous LPs Rock and Roll Nightclub and 2. Each provided a surge of scrappy originality in an uninspired indie-rock scene.
They also helped build his overly-simplistic reputation as a hard-partying slacker, an image exacerbated by notorious on-stage antics, an endless supply of vintage 5-panel caps and songs about Viceroy cigs and apologising to his mother. This persona was always unjust, considering the deceptively touching and honest romance of his music- the longing, happiness, heartbreak and loneliness. Or as he describes on his new mini LP Another One, “How somebody might feel if they’re having strange feelings in their chest”.
Naturally there are callbacks to his signature style in this latest work. The likes of ‘The Way You’d Love Her’, ‘I’ve Been Waiting For Her’ and ‘Just To Put Me Down’ continue traits of his self-described Jizz-Jazz genre. The breezy strings, simplistic drumbeats and jaunty rhythm guitar are akin to the style of 2 and Rock and Roll Night Club but with the polished production of Salad Days.
The real highlights come in the traditional balladry of ‘No Other Heart’, and the lonely synth of ‘Without Me’ and title track ‘Another One’. The spotlight remains on Demarco’s lyrical crooning of heartfelt despair, insecurity, and commitment to love, elements that are becoming the more memorable and captivating aspects of this increasingly mature, earnest song writing.
Demarco produced Another One at his home on Far Rockaway Beach, New York, under the watchful gaze of Kiera, his girlfriend and muse. Final track ‘My House on the Water’ couples the sound of the water gently lapping on the shore with a lazily performed synth melody, ending on an invitation to his address where he offers the listener a cup of coffee (a genuine invitation which has since been taken up by many). This sign-off is typical of Mac, displaying a transparent disinterest in financial gain and absence of pretention, reinforced by the sarcastically direct title. This attitude was always present in his more sentimental work and adds another facet to Demarco’s compelling character.