Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

Big Mac – to go

 

After years in the indie
doldrums as the main man in
Makeout Videotape, 23-year-old
Canadian Mac DeMarco
released his first full-length
album (the playfully titled 2) last
year, achieving real word-of-mouth
success. It saw DeMarco
patent his peculiar blend of off-kilter
melodies, winningly
laidback, scruffy arrangements
and some killer songwriting.

Salad Days is a real
progression. It’s a stronger set
of songs; DeMarco’s success
brings the kind of confidence
that sees him try his hand at
everything from stripped-back
ballads (the Lennon-like Let My
Baby Stay) to synth workouts (Jonny’s Odyssey) without losing
any of the gap-toothed charm
that made his first record and
attendant live shows such a hit.

The vast majority of songs
here display a seemingly
effortless grasp of songcraft
that places DeMarco way out in
front of his peers. The shuffling
Blue Boy and plaintive Passing
Out Pieces may be winningly
infectious earworms, but they’re
far from straightforward –
indicative of the album as
a whole. Goodbye Weekend
sees DeMarco take issue with
his critics, particularly the way
his sometimes bizarre live
shows have been reported. On
this evidence, his talent should
be celebrated. Salad Days,
indeed.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Captured Tracks | cat no, tbc

Reviewed by Jamie Atkins
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