Mac Demarco, the lovable singer songwriter from Canada with a gap in his teeth that is not hard to miss, has shared with the world that he has a new album coming in early May, and with the announcement came two singles from the album.
Demarco has a respectable discography, the most recent being his “Another One” EP, which followed his “Salad Days” LP that was met with high claim from Pitchfork and Metacritic. Demarco is known for being a singer songwriter, one who is stripped down, and for his lo-fi, production style using a bright jangly electric guitar tone, but on these two new songs he trades in his electric for an acoustic and a clean production.
The two songs, “This Old Dog” and “My Old Man” are soothing cuts with their own unique quirks that keep Demarco’s sound in check.
On “My Old Man,” a repeating drum machine rhythm powers Demarco’s rich acoustic guitar playing. The song has long verses and a chorus with the only notable difference in instrumentation being an addition of synth, which Demarco has utilized frequently in his past. But the key to this giant loop of a song is Demarco’s voice, which works as a smooth partner to the ring of his acoustic guitar and the whine of the synth on the chorus where Demarco says, “Uh oh, looks like I’m seeing more of my old man in me.”
On “This Old Dog,” Demarco slows down the pace a bit from the already chilled out “My Old Man.” Strumming slowly, delivering lines such as, “Sometimes my love may be put on hold/Sometimes my heart may seem awful cold,” a solemn mood is set with this song.
The chorus lines, “This old dog ain’t about to forget/all we’ve had and all that’s next/as long as my heart is beating in my chest/this old dog ain’t about to forget” furthers this mood, with a swelling, beautiful guitar accompaniment on the chorus and Demarco being vulnerable talking about a love that does not plan to be dying anytime soon, despite his own flaws.
These are not complex songs. They are simple chords and singer-type of songs with limited instrumentation, which is a big change from songs of the past such as “Chamber of Reflection,” or “The Way You’d Love Her,” which filled his last couple of outputs.
Demarco keeps his own signature and the listener intrigued on these songs through the use of small sections of synth and electric guitar. However, at their core, these songs are easy, feel good songs, with some introspective lyrics on love and life, comparable to James Taylor or Paul Simon.
Verdict: These two singles showcase his strength as a stripped down singer songwriter, and if these two songs are a reflection of the album that’s to come in May, then he may have a great record on his hands.