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'Salad Days' delivers pop in new style

Demarco refines sound, explores musical ability

By Lorenzo Morotti, associate editor
On April 26, 2014

  • Mac Demarco’s artistic progression into “off-kilter” pop music in his latest work features dreamy psychedelic undertones and pseudo-lazy lyrics full of lessons on life. Special to / The Advocate

If you've spent summers struggling to wake up at noon with little ambition to do anything besides meet up with some friends at a local park to share raunchy jokes and altered perceptions, then this is the pop album to teleport you back.
Life experiences are expressed through pseudo-lazy lyrics, jangly-guitar riffs and dreamy-psychedelic undertones.
Mac Demarco's third full-length album "Salad Days" was released by Captured Tracks music label on April 1. It has already garnered more listens on Spotify than his two previous albums.
His artistic progression into the realm of "off-kilter" pop music makes this the best album the Canadian singer/songwriter has released since the band formed in 2009.
"Salad Days," is short and sweet. The album can be listened to in its entirety in about 30 minutes.
Each song flows into the next, and listening to Demarco's lyrics leaves you with the feeling that you had subconsciously been taught a lesson in life and love.
The third track "Brother" sets the tone for the rest of the album. Slow paced drums hold together erratic guitar plucking that is contrasted by a funk influenced bass line.
"You're better off dead, when your mind's been set from nine until five" stands out from the chorus which repeats throughout the song until the tempo changes at the 2:30 mark. It is here that the use of floor pedals and other tools propel the song into a wider threshold of sound.
The title track "Salad Days" is the fastest on the album. It exhibits Demarcos' versatile voice and lyrics which jump between scat, freestyle and meaningful minimalism.
"Let Her Go," is the fourth track. It opens with an up tempo guitar riff that jangles along to a groovy bass line. It is the most upbeat track on the album; Demarco's lyrics are not however.
"Tell her that you love her / if you really love her / But when your heart just ain't sure / let her know," opens up the song and is repeated throughout.
The slowest track is "Chamber of Reflection." With no guitar, the song winds around synthesized noise with drums and bass.
Demarco tries to explain how important solitude is for the human mind with "Understand that when you leave here you will be clear / You will be among better men - alone again."
His crude humor, and attitude can be seen live at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on July 8 when Mac Demarco comes to the Bay Area.  


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