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Alternative & Indie - Released April 1, 2014 | Captured Tracks

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
With his 2012 debut, 2, Canadian songwriter Mac DeMarco offered the world a look into his dazed but brilliant mind's eye, his songs landing somewhere between a hallucinogenic re-imagination of '70s soft rock, oddball outsider jams, and laid-back indie fare. The tunes were somehow both tuneful and antagonistic in the subtlest of ways, and DeMarco easily shifted between characters of the stoned joker and sincere balladeer, playing each remarkably convincingly. Salad Days picks up where the strange vibes of 2 left off, brightening the production and shying away from Mac's more insane impulses for a clearer picture of his immensely cracked idea of what pop music is. By this point, DeMarco's guitar sound is becoming one of his signatures. Mellow, snaking, busy lines of chorus-drenched leads intertwine and chime over the top of thoughtful, sometimes restrained chords. This guitar work shows up at its most melodic on tracks like "Let Her Go" and the standout "Blue Boy," and appears in a more jagged form on mellow rockers like "Goodbye Weekend." DeMarco has his feet in a bevy of styles on Salad Days without coming off scattered, including the brittle '80s R&B synths of "Chamber of Reflection" and the channeling of songwriting greats like John Lennon and Ray Davies elsewhere. The title track goes so far as to sport some "la la la"s that could have been lifted directly off The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. Absent from this album are both the highly contrasting moments of dreamy-eyed indie rock and wobbly, Ween-indebted weirdness that came through more sharply on 2. With songs touching on themes of maturation, life in the public eye, and good old-fashioned romance, DeMarco has trimmed the fat both musically and conceptually on Salad Days, turning in a streamlined picture of his musical development. With more memorable tracks and a slightly more accessible feel, the album is less distracted and more tuneful than before without losing any of the freewheeling spirit that made his songs and persona so attractive in the first place. ~ Fred Thomas
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 16, 2012 | Captured Tracks

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Vancouver, British Columbia weirdo Mac DeMarco appeared under his own name in the spring of 2012 with Rock and Roll Night Club, a grab-bag album's worth of songs marketed as an EP. The atmosphere on R&RNC was jagged, with tracks either sounding identical or taking sharp stylistic left turns, with results ranging from warm bedroom pop to Ween-esque demented goofery. Just months after the release of that confusing collection comes 2, DeMarco's proper full-length debut. Though his off-kilter pop sounds got rolling in the late 2000s with his Makeout Videotape project, the development he's been working on since his early cassette-only albums comes into full focus here, with his songs sounding as serious and straightforward as DeMarco's trickster-like persona will allow. Part of this is the sense of cohesion that runs through the album. The sincerity of even the most delicate songs on R&RNC was called into question when they were placed side by side with stoned, sophomoric ones. While 2 maintains a damaged sense of humor, there's less absurdity afoot. Instead, DeMarco puts his energy toward cultivating a strange late-night loner atmosphere, which touches even the yacht-rock partying apology song "Freaking Out the Neighborhood" and the wiggly jam band guitar noodling of "Annie." Heavy repetition factors into the cohesiveness of the album as well. Without completely recycling melodies or lyrics, "Ode to Viceroy" sounds pretty directly similar to "My Kind of Woman" in tonality, pacing, and general feel. The nocturnal shut-in undertones permeate most of DeMarco's tunes, sounding like he's singing from deep within some private world in his mind similar to his contemporaries like Ariel Pink, John Maus, and Willis Earl Beal. Even the wobbly instrumental "Boe Zaah" blends into the bigger framework of 2, winding the record down into its final songs without feeling either jarringly different or tacked on. If anything, 2 borders on sounding so cohesive the songs become indistinguishable from one another. The album's gentle acoustic closer, "Still Together," does much to even out the rest of the album, wrapping up the eccentric smoky guitar jams and tongue-in-cheek moments of 2 with an unexpectedly sweet slice of spare, devotional balladry. DeMarco is still a befuddling character, but the compressed landscape of 2 takes steps away from his cartoonish beginnings toward something equally strange, but possibly more grown up. ~ Fred Thomas
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 10, 2019 | Mac’s Record Label

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Here comes Mac, and on his own label! After a misleading opening of crooner country where the loops repeat relentlessly (Here Comes the Cowboy), we understand that DeMarco quickly put the first one aside. Already laid-back, the Canadian lays back even further. Slow speed, nonchalant orchestration, the Angelino displays a beautiful detachment. While the world is beating ever faster, Mac DeMarco is playing against the tide and against the clock. This appreciation for slowness manifests perfectly with the thirteen downtempo tracks in which the intimate is so wonderfully depicted. The 2019 Mac version of the lonesome cowboy lives on illusionary and disillusioned loves, and is frank but contradictory. He hates the city but wants it just as much. "Sick of the city locked in with all the pretty people / Need a vacation somewhere that no one ever dreamt to go / Out in the country tending to all the pretty cattle / Turns out the cowboy dreams of the city." A few groovy interludes (Choo Choo) add nuance the pop synth (On the Square) or to the cheap guitar (Hey Cowgirl) that Mac has become known for. A tip: let the last song (Baby Bye Bye Bye) play out to enjoy the delightful funk digressions mixed with his crazy laughter. The big festivals and successes of Salad Days (2014) and This Old Dog (2017) have certainly not painted him into a corner. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 5, 2017 | Captured Tracks

Is it the approach of his 30th birthday (and that’s still three years off) that is making Mac DeMarco so melancholy? Not to suggest that the wonder boy of the American indy scene has lost any of his boyish humour, his off-beam stories, his radiant second-hand guitars and his joyful and rickety synths: just that the general tone of This Old Dog was marked by a certain detachment, or a somewhat pensive mood... His mini-album Another One of 2015 already had about it some of the flavour of this 2017 vintage. All the DeMarco hallmarks are there, to be sure. In particular, his dead-eye sense of melody, which will have us humming in our next few thousand showers... More acoustic, and less electric than he has been, the Canadian plays with bossa-nova tempos (Dreams From Yesterday) and summery pop (A Wolf Who Wears Sheeps Clothes), choosing to foreground his keyboards over his guitars. Above all, he brings out a more personal side of his character. Maturity, without a doubt, and even more clearly, the desire to show that he is a serious songwriter. Because for all his affected nonchalance, Mac DeMarco has delivered a record that's very touching, and deeper than what we might have expected. © MZ/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 7, 2015 | Captured Tracks

In a not-so-secret message at the end of his 2015 mini-album Another One, Mac DeMarco offers up his home address in Far Rockaway, New York, inviting listeners to "Stop on by, I'll make you a cup of coffee." Four albums into his relatively young career, the transplanted Canadian has already earned a playfully eccentric reputation that mirrors his unconventional musical style. As admired for his oddball antics (homemade videos wearing Michael Jackson and Homer Simpson masks, holding a contest for fans whose prize is $0.69 from his bank account, that invitation for coffee) as for his laid-back songcraft, DeMarco has become an unexpected indie hero with his own highly recognizable sound. Beginning with 2012's Rock & Roll Nightclub, each release has been an improvement on its predecessor, with 2014's Salad Days landing atop many critic's year-end lists. Wasting little time on his follow-up, DeMarco quickly wrote and assembled this eight-song effort at his home on the southern shores of New York's Jamaica Bay in Queens. A loosely themed concept album about love, with each song exploring a different emotion (longing, jealousy, frustration, joy), Another One bears the distinctive hallmarks that have, so far, come to signify a DeMarco release. The unique, heavily-chorused guitar tone and the laid-back grooves rooted in '70s soft rock support gently catchy melodies with intelligent lyrics that nimbly tread the line between heartfelt and wry. Musically, it's no great departure from the world he created on Salad Days, but there's a feeling of listening in on an artist who is just coming into the peak of his powers, and the creative spirit behind these subtly charming songs is immediately apparent. As a collection Another One hangs together quite well with the wobbly, synth-led title cut and the warm pop groove of the marvelous "No Other Heart" making for two of the album's biggest standouts. Befitting the record's amorous themes, DeMarco's overall tone here is sweeter and more tender than before, even on more lighthearted fare like the frisky faux yacht rocker "Just to Put Me Down," where he flexes a bit of Jerry Garcia-inspired guitar muscle. The half-smirking irony that many critics have accused him of feels further distanced here as he continues to explore his capabilities as a songwriter and player. On the final track, he pairs a lonesome, dark-toned synth against a backdrop of waves lapping at his rocky shoreline in what feels a bit like an instrumental love song to a place and time. It feels ephemeral and so, perhaps, is DeMarco's tenure in the watery little house where this music was made. This beguiling little album is another feather in DeMarco's baseball cap, and will live on in his growing catalog, but you might want to head over to Queens for that cup of coffee before it's too late. ~ Timothy Monger
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 5, 2019 | Mac’s Record Label

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 5, 2018 | Captured Tracks

Mac DeMarco never forgets to draw together the various demos, snippets and embryos of his songs. First published for Record Store Day 2016, Another (Demo) One brings together 16 more or less completed tracks, some of which appear on his album Another One in definitive versions. It is above all a document destined for hardcore fans of this extraterrestrial in the American indie scene. However, this record is not conventional garbage but more of a zoom in on Mac DeMarco’s creative process, a kind of study on his heightened sense of pop melodies and the genius of his writing. © MZ/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 13, 2012 | Captured Tracks

Mac DeMarco is a hard one to pin down. Before switching to his given name for Rock and Roll Night Club, DeMarco existed as cassette-issuing Makeout Videotape, where his music ping-ponged from digital noise to high-strung underwater pop. Promotional videos he's made for his music have more in common with the damaged frat-boy absurdity of Tim & Eric than the typical sullen art school dropout imagery of some of his Captured Tracks labelmates, or even the androgynous post-glam characterization that flows through this debut. The strange distractions that surround DeMarco are off-putting at best, and could definitely stand as deal breakers to anyone without the patience for nonsense. It isn't even really safe to say one should focus on the music alone, as even just the raw files of Rock and Roll Night Club are infiltrated by goofy fake radio announcements and the occasional detour into Ween-at-their-worst levels of sophomoric idiocy. DeMarco is best approached on a song-to-song basis, forgetting any external influence or even the song that came before it. Track for track, Rock and Roll Night Club is full of highlights. The starry-eyed darkness of "Only You" comes closest to a modern take on indie rock, sounding like a weathered Deerhunter cassette demo from the Microcastle era. Early on DeMarco employs direct clean guitars and muffled drums on the weird denim-fetish anthem "Baby's Wearing Blue Jeans." The next song, "One More Tear to Cry," carries on this Lou Reed if produced by Ariel Pink thread, using the same lonely croon and actually the exact same vocal melody. The next track, "European Vegas," does the same, shifting melodies only a little on the chorus. "She's Really All I Need" breaks the chain somewhat, melding a finally different melody with wobbly guitar lines and beachy percussion. Somehow instead of being an annoyingly repetitive conceptual misfire, the identical melodies work in DeMarco's homespun glam thug sonnets in an if-it-ain't-broke kinda way, lending different shades of the same color to their respective songs. Then moments later, the off-key dork-fest ode to the king of pop "Moving Like Mike" dismantles the cool vibe and resets the feeling of the entire album. Rock and Roll Night Club is a confusing record, but not a mess. On the contrary, it's so deeply calculated that the intentions and possible motivations of its songs are likely to be lost on most. This would be a problem if the good songs weren't so incredible and strange and the weak ones so immediately forgettable. ~ Fred Thomas
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 21, 2018 | Captured Tracks

It’s the for fans only cream pie series that Mac DeMarco amuses himself with every year: releasing the demos from his previous album. Time for This Old Dog that appeared in May 2017, a viscerally melancholic album. The wonder boy of the American indie scene certainly hasn’t forgotten his schoolboy humor, offbeat stories, radiant second-hand guitars or his wobbly synths, though the general tone of this album was marked by a certain detachment, even a slightly pensive mood… Since the original album was already more acoustic than his previous records, these stripped-back Old Dog Demos, published in September 2018, will only further convince hardcore Mac fans. For novices, we recommend a dose of Salad Days (2014) or Mac DeMarco 2 (2012). © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 2, 2019 | Mac’s Record Label

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 10, 2019 | Mac’s Record Label

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 17, 2014 | Captured Tracks

The recording of Mac DeMarco's 2014 album Salad Days came at the end of a massive tour after DeMarco returned from traveling the world to hole up in his Brooklyn apartment exhausted and depressed, coming down from taking on the world. This spent mental state no doubt informed the weathered mood of Salad Days, an album that saw a newly famous musician reflecting on getting older and feeling weary. While the album ended up exploring this mood and branching out into other territory emotionally and stylistically, the demo recordings that were made beforehand remain primarily in a state of muted melancholia, hazy production, and lethargic performances, putting an even finer point on the spread-thin sentiments. Salad Days favorites like "Blue Boy," "Let My Baby Stay," and the title track call on DeMarco's dreamiest interpretations of classic singer/songwriter influences like mid-period Kinks or solo John Lennon, and the demos for those songs take on an especially far-reaching quality. Uncertain and unformed, they read like hazy thoughts drifting by, barely written and with even less time put into production. The goofball persona that helped DeMarco charm his fans shows up here in the form of ridiculous working titles for half-cooked instrumental versions of songs, "Horse Hot Wee Wee Water," "Sloppy Lau Lau," and "Pepperoni Playboy" rank as some top-shelf gibberish for these throwaway tracks. While Salad Days delivered a diverse selection of fan favorites like the synth-heavy "Chamber of Reflection," the demos never quite rise to the dazzling, blissful levels of production that made the album so captivating, nor do they break out of their one-dimensional tone. Super fans will get a lot out of exploring Salad Days Demos, but the more casual listener might find the meandering instrumentals and half-realized ideas drab in comparison to the final product. ~ Fred Thomas
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 5, 2019 | Mac’s Record Label

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 2, 2019 | Mac’s Record Label

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 14, 2013 | Captured Tracks

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 1, 2017 | Captured Tracks

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 1, 2017 | Captured Tracks

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 7, 2019 | Mac’s Record Label

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 17, 2015 | Captured Tracks

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 12, 2015 | Captured Tracks

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Mac DeMarco in the magazine