ALBUM REVIEW: Mac DeMarco ‘Salad Days’

Mac DeMarco has made the same old “jizz jazz” present in his 2012 album 2 and first EP Rock and Roll Night Club but in Salad Days, he has refined his sound even further while adding a few twists (Note the acid-dripped synthiness in Chamber of Reflection) and this one will for sure be the soundtrack to hazy summer days for many people.

DeMarco’s focus is mainly around the topics of love, age and maturity in this album, he also drops a few wisdom bombs, telling listeners to “take it slowly”. You may or may not decide to take this advice on board, considering that this is a man that once stripped completely naked and stuck a drumstick up his ass during a live rendition of the U2 sort of ‘classic’ Beautiful Day.

Album opener and title track Salad Days captures his slacker aesthetic perfectly within the instruments while offering us a snippet of the effects of incessant touring, interviews and music-making throughout the past couple of years in the lyric “Always feeling tired, smiling when required”, personal lyrics in DeMarco’s tracks have mainly existed in a very underlying manner until this particular album.

Blue Boy is another typical DeMarco track, sung about a seemingly anxious character that worries about his haircut a bit too much. Brother follows the same formula here, traipsing along to a climax that sees him channelling his inner Thurston Moore in the wall of guitar noise behind the ah’s, lead guitar, bass and drums. Special mention should go out to the bass line on this one for adding a particularly warm groove to the watery guitar chords. Let Her Go bounces very smoothly from the upbeat verses to a more emotion provoking chorus, advising that his character should “let her go”.

The highlight of this album comes with a song that almost feels like it’s moving in slow motion, Chamber of Reflection. The jangly guitar sounds that have become synonymous with the “jizz jazz” sound are replaced with a synth-heavy sound previously unheard in his music, it definitely feels like a breath of fresh air on this album. Fellow shit-stirrer, rumoured collaborator and Odd Future rapper Tyler, The Creator tweeted that Chamber of Reflection is DeMarco’s “best song to date” which is a sentiment that many people seem to agree with.

Salad Days comes to an end via the breezy instrumental Jonny’s Odyssey, signing out with an outro spoken by DeMarco and his Canadian twang. This album won’t be a mass chart success, winning awards and breaking records here and there, but it is a sincere album that is sure to further endear DeMarco to his cult following.