With a critically acclaimed album recently published earlier this year and a current UK tour, the unparalleled song-songwriter Mac Demarco has never been more relevant. With his unique, dreamy guitar sound and tongue-in-cheek stage antics, Demarco has become a Canadian legend in the alternative music scene.
Taking influence from 70s Japanese popular music, classic Dad rock and new wave indie, it’s easy to see how Mac has managed to forge an honestly new and strange style of music in a saturated Indie-rock scene. In this article, I will give a brief overview of my personal top 10 tunes by the lovable gap-toothed slacker. He has released a plethora of top grade jingles, making this an extremely tough decision, but here is a quick rundown of perhaps his highest quality work:
10) HACHIKO (Some Other Ones) = Appearing on his instrumental album ‘Some Other Ones’, which accompanied the realise of ‘Another One’, ‘HACHIKO’ goes to show that he doesn’t need his witty and romantic lyrics to hold a song: his ability to write interesting, warm and listenable guitar melodies is sufficient enough.
9) Watching Him Fade Away (This Old Dog) = The finale of his newest album ends with this genuinely moving banger. Mac sings about his strained relationship with estranged father to a sparse, restrained backing: it’s impossible to not have a tear in the eye while listening to this one.
8) Ode to Viceroy (2) = What’s not to love about thi
s love letter to the American tobacco product Viceroy? We all love a cheeky little ciggy now and again.
7) Chamber of Reflection (Salad Days) = The syth-mad, acid trip that is ‘Chamber of Reflection’ is possibly Mac’s most famous song. The rather morose, bleak sound is unforgettable and so are the ambiguous lyrics that accompany it.
6) Moon Light on the River (This Old Day) = His most epic song to date, coming in at over 7minutes long. A Soft acoustic guitar strums behind even softer singing. The tremolo on the dreamy electric guitar vibrates all around the body. The sound descends into a crashing mess, reminiscent of ‘Heroin’ by the influential The Velvet Underground.
It’s easy to forget that the song is about meth addicts…
5) Let Her Go (Salad Days) = This upbeat tune provides a brilliant example of Mac’s jingly jazzy guitar style that made his sound infamous. Every note rings out and resonates perfectly, with each listen his guitar playing becomes more innovative.
4) Just to Put Me Down (Another One) = The influence of Japanese musician Haruomi Hosono is clear. The chorous tone, warm synthesiser and complex guitar solo are clear indicators of this inspiration. His best guitar playing hands down.
3) Cooking Up Something Good (2) = In third place is this funky, psychedelic masterpiece. Quintessential Mac Demarco guitar playing with strumming that makes you want to boogie all night long. It’s easy to forget that the song is about meth addicts…
2) The Stars Keep on Calling My Name (2) = Respectably coming in at second place is this mellow piece of art. Beautifully chilled out vibes, bright chords and escapist lyrics: what else is there to say?
it’s impossible to not have a tear in the eye while listening to this one.
1) No Other Heart (Another One) = The foot tapping inducing rhythm and mesmerising guitar sequences put this fabulous concoction a step above the rest of his wo
rk, which is already in an elevated position as it is. On this track Mac sings about that relatable, agonising feeling of falling for someone in a rela
tionship. Sung with such sweetness and flare, a deserving first place for this one.
Mac Demarco’s songbook becomes increasingly more enriched and diverse with each new album. Even though its only been a short while since ‘This Old Dog’ was published, fans are patiently counting down the days until his next EP is realised. I’ll be suffice listening to these 10 tremendous bangers on repeat until that day eventually comes around.