in Review

Mac Demarco – 2

At first I thought Mac Demarco looked like a douche. Well he doesn’t sound like a douche. Mac Demarco sounds sort of like Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy if he just kicked back and laid down a wall of jingly-jangly guitars. “Jingly-jangly” really is the best word you could use to sum up 2 (not surprisingly Mac Demarco’s second album). “Jazzy” or maybe even “funky” would be other good words. Demarco’s chords have that kind of funky whte-guy feel to them. It’s not quite funk, but it certainly has a swagger to it. Demarco wouldn’t be out of place accompanying some lounge singer in the corner of some smokey night club. Though I can’t deny nor confirm whether that’s actually happened.

I didn’t know anything about singer-songwriter Mac Demarco before 2 and still don’t know much about him. I can tell you he’s based in Montreal and he likes to wear hats but not much else. Fortunately, the music tells the only story I really need to know. Demarco plays a laid back style of pop driven by an echoey wall of guitars. He also makes intriguing chord choices in the span of two minute songs. It’s a guitar style that almost harkens back to George Harrison. Both integrate a lot of unconventional chords to produce a rich harmonic sound. Still, Demarco defintiely has his own sound. A sound that is a great deal jazzier and far more intoxicating than your typical singer-songwriter.

My only real gripe with this hatted-Canadian are his melodies. His voice his fine but he does’t seem to know what to do with it. The vocal melodies more or less follow the exact same mold of the guitars. Most of the time that works, but sometimes it leaves something to be desired. I could hear the instrumental versions of these songs and probably come up with the exact same thing. Fortunately, the guitar parts are so good that this isn’t much of a problem. Mac Demarco has clearly found his musical comfort zone and knows how to capitalize off of that with great songs. He also wrote a song called “Ode to Viceroy” which I can only assume is about Star Wars: Episode 1.

Favorite Tracks: “Cooking Up Something Good”, “Freaking Out the Neighborhood”, “The Stars Keep On Calling My Name”