Mac demarcos change the world

Since moving from Montreal six months ago, De Marco has shared a cupboard-sized, windowless room with his college sweetheart, Kiera, who lounges above us on the loft bed while we talk.

Mac Demarco - Change the World (unreleased track)

Underneath is the cramped little cave that forms his studio: every song on his new album, Salad Days was recorded here. It's early afternoon and he's just woken up. He was disturbed, he explains, by some small-hours techno; everyone else in this warren of a building is a musician, too. He's wearing mid-blue "dad" jeans and a nondescript T-shirt which, along with his ever-present baseball cap and gap-toothed grin, constitute the signature Mac DeMarco look.

Various half-eaten packets of snacks are strewn around the room and the scented candle he lights is a touching if hopeless gesture to mitigate the cigarette-smoke fug.

Mac Demarco Archives | Happy Mag

Reading this on mobile? Click here to view. This icon of chill now finds himself in an unprecedentedly un-chill position. Namely, facing the weight of expectation surrounding Salad Days. That was part of the record, finding a way to have fun with it again, pushing all that bullshit to the side, because if you go into it thinking, 'I've got to make something better than my last one', or, 'I've got to please these people' — fuck that, what's the point of doing it in the first place?

Mac DeMarco

His grandmother is an opera singer, his grandad a sax player, and both his aunt and his mother were musicians at some point. Ornery kid that he was, it meant he resisted music for a long time. And the chicks liked it.

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I don't know if it made me more desirable but I thought it did. And you just get hooked at that point. His first band, a joke act called the Meat Cleavers, were "Alberta-themed jock-rock".

Here Comes the Cowboy

I played in some other indie bands who were trying to make it big; those sucked. Then I started Makeout Videotape and that was that. DeMarco waxes quasi-philosophical on the importance of keeping things light, explaining that almost all his songwriting heroes shared this sentiment. It's ridiculous making this music and a lot of stuff that comes out is ridiculous.

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I'm a pretty easygoing person and it bleeds into the music. Even if I'm writing the most personal song it's not going to come out totally serious, there's always a little tongue in the cheek. Fans have come to expect messy, raucous live shows, and the first 10 rows are often getting crazy before Mac even hits the stage. It occurred onstage in Montreal in and is to DeMarco as biting the head off a bat is to Ozzy Osbourne: a signature story of outrageousness that's too good to ever die.

The mini-album he recorded at home in Rockaway, Another One , was unremarkable if pleasant. But it was also the point in his career where it became undeniably clear that DeMarco was on to something.

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At the end of the album, he gave out his address and invited listeners to drop by to hang out. A lot of them actually showed up. His new album follows closely in spirit to the endearing and open-hearted of This Old Dog. Here Comes the Cowboy is an often pretty, occasionally frustrating record that was recorded quickly, but still sounds labored over. His music evolves in inches: he iterates on the same sound but tweaks it subtly with every release.

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Lyrics become more direct. Ideas become simplified. The crustiness of his early songs is mostly gone here.

The Joke Explained

Here Comes the Cowboy arrives at a time when there are more eyes trained on DeMarco than ever before. He will always be the goofy guy with the Alfred E.