November 9, 2012

The Daily Choice: Mac DeMarco – Freaking Out The Neighborhood

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It’s a testament to how much I’ve ended up liking Mac DeMarco, that upon first listen my first thought was “Jack Johnson?” Or more so, “Oh no, has music made an unlikely turn and now the cool kids are wearing Jack Johnson shirts and listening to reissues of ‘Bubbly Toes’?” Don’t get me wrong, I used to love Jack Johnson (don’t front – you know you used to blast ‘Brushfire Fairytales” at home and think about surfers and guitars), but the idea that Pitchfork Music had just awarded the coveted ‘Best New Music’ title to what seemed to be a Jack Johnson sound-alike was, to be frank, alarming.

Maybe enough about Jack Johnson.

Mac DeMarco, though wearing a similar sort of goofy-grinned attitude as the maestro of “Bubbly Toes”, lives on some deserted island somewhere between Steely Dan and yacht-rock never inhabited by even a cracked CD case of Brushfire Fairytales. The sound vacillates between warm summer tones and the sort of icy guitar solos I’ve come to attribute to the world of Captured Tracks. The recordings make it seem as if DeMarco is a lone musician, a couple of guitars and the illusion of studio space his only possessions, that this music, sometimes imbued with a world-weary sigh, other times verging on the edge of joke, is what he’s got, and that’s just fine with him.

Mac DeMarco’s album 2 just came out on Captured Tracks.

I don’t know if Jack Johnson is even making music anymore.

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