Feedback: Keep calm and listen to Mac DeMarco

Music columnist Jackson Farley on Mac DeMarco's '2'

By Jackson Farley | Nov. 9, 2012

Tags: Music


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"When life moves this slowly / Oh, just try and let it go.”

Those words come straight from the track, "Cooking Up Something Good" on Mac DeMarco's sophomore release, _2_. And this carefree, laid-back attitude happens to reflect the release as a whole. It's the kind of album you listen to on your back porch on a breezy summer evening as you sip a cold iced tea and pet your hearty, loyal golden retriever named Bud.

Ah, suburbia.

DeMarco's guitar playing gets all of the spotlight on 2_. The style that DeMarco incorporates via his guitar work is beyond unique, and it's a recurring element on every track. He plays in a bright, optimistic tone that contributes to the laid-back feel of the album. His riffs are beautifully crafted and can be dreamy at times. Much of _2 could be categorized as "lo-fi" or "indie-folk," and his mellow vocals contribute to that.

From start to finish, 2_ is incredibly chill. From the breezy guitar riffs and simple baselines to the easygoing lyrics  complemented by DeMarco's deep, smooth voice, _2 is the perfect soundtrack to your carefree lifestyle. Whether you're taking a long drive to clear your mind or you're feeling like that weird singing fish that our grandparents always had on their wall (you know, the "don't worry about a thing, 'cause every little thing's gonna be all right" thing), DeMarco will always be the best choice.

Lyrically, _2_ has the same effect. "Cooking Up Something Good" is a look into his family life, and relates to old-school suburban families. Mom's cooking, Dad's on the couch, brother's out skateboarding … classic. Meanwhile, "Ode To Viceroy" is DeMarco's love song to cigarettes. "Oh honey, I'll smoke you 'til I'm dying," he sings on this nicotine serenade.

"My Kind of Woman" features a funky guitar line and that one cute, romantic song an album just can't go without. DeMarco croons over his "type of woman" and pleads for her to let him into her world. "The Stars Keep On Calling My Name" is one of the catchiest songs on the album. With more bubbly guitar riffs and upbeat vocals, this track has the most to boast about. Simplicity can be a beautiful thing.

Mac DeMarco is a breath of fresh air. 2_ isn't your typical indie album, your typical folk album or even your typical rock album. _2 is a nice mixture of many different genres with an old-school twist.

_2_ is also a homogenous album in a good way. DeMarco's vocals and guitar work are similar on every song of the album, but when looking at the work as a whole, it in no way "gets old" the more you listen.

On the contrary, the consistency is much appreciated; carrying a theme throughout an album successfully isn't the easiest thing to do. But DeMarco gets a big checkmark in that category, passing with flying colors.

As you travel through Mac DeMarco's 2_, you can't help but feel more relaxed. The album is a homage, of sorts, to suburban life. With easy breezy lyrics and dreamy guitar riffs, _2 is bound to rid you of every worry you're holding on to. (Disclaimer: this hasn't been clinically proven, though, so no promises.)

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