Music / Album of the Week

Album of the Week: Mac DeMarco

Inside the indie-poster boy’s carefree fourth album, Here Comes the Cowboy

The ever approachable, breezy-and-keen-to-down-a-few-tall-boys slacker icon Mac DeMarco returns with his fourth studio album, Here Comes the Cowboy, released through his own label, Mac’s Record Label.

The follow-up to 2017’s hugely popular This Old Dog, sees Mac’s wry humour, easy hooks and relatable observations about the world remain, as he drawls through 13 new tracks in his unique stoner jam meets ’70s alt-rock way.

Known for his muted bass guitars, vibrato guitar effects and flat drum beats, his often low frequency filters keep the songs fresh, but also familiar.

When asked, Mac toned down the album’s expectations, telling Huck Magazine, “I’m in a place where I just don’t care. I assumed this record would pop up, fly under the radar, maybe some people listen to it. I’m totally fine with that.”

With his anything goes attitude and acute self-awareness both on and off stage, the Canadian singer-songwriter, prankster, amp climber and extensive crowd surfer seems to deliver his latest release with a little less gusto than we’ve come to expect.

The song Preoccupied feels just that – written while idly staring out of a hotel or bus widow perhaps? Skyless Moon meanders along leisurely, with On the Square becoming a fast favourite – a nice piano ballad, combined with his usual synth layers.

Choo Choo shifts gears offering a funky blend of Mac’s trademark falsetto and a repetitive train whistle – it feels like it might be a joke, and maybe it is? Fun and quirky, it’s delivered with childlike wonder.

The funk riffs continue in Baby Bye Bye as the last quarter transforms from slide-guitars into a groovy bass jam complete with screaming yeehaws and manic laughs.

DeMarco has regularly tackled his personal life in his songs in the past including his relationship with his dad, as well as writing pleasant slow-burning love songs and doting odes to ciggies.

There’s a mellow vibe and air of melancholy to a lot of his music, which his newest release largely emulates, but this time a little slower paced, and lyrically more thoughtful.

While Here Comes the Cowboy lacks the flawless jams and sing-along tunes of Salad Days or the clean refinement of 2017’s This Old Dog, it’s a pleasant listen and still offers much of the DeMarco charm, kitsch sound effects and trademark hazy guitar licks fans have come to know and love.

See Mac live this summer opening for Bon Iver at All Points East in Victoria Park, London on 2 June and in his headline show Mac DeMarco… will see you now at Dreamland in Margate on 29 June 2019. [Find Tickets]


Tracklisting:
1. Here Comes the Cowboy
2. Nobody
3. Finally Alone
4. Little Dogs March
5. Preoccupied
6. Choo Choo
7. K
8. Heart to Heart
9. Hey Cowgirl
10. On the Square
11. All of Our Yesterdays
12. Skyless Moon
13. Baby Bye Bye


Listen to Here Comes the Cowboy on Spotify:

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