Larissa Reviews Mac Demarco’s “Here Comess the Cowboy”

Larissa Reviews Mac Demarco’s “Here Comess the Cowboy”

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Canadian DIY indie-rock legend Mac Demarco is back with his latest album, “Here Comes the Cowboy,” and he’s perhaps bested himself in terms of mellowness–something RPM’s Larissa didn’t think was possible. Read her take on the new Mac album below:

 

Mac is back, friends. But then again, he never really leaves— he’s only ever taken at the most two year gaps between records. This one is the most stripped, clean, mellow Mac album yet—sprinkled with little sundries of Mac goof, such as in the song “Choo-Choo”, the various cowboy references that poke through in different songs.

I will say that the initial title track, “Here Comes the Cowboy”–featuring a galloping, repetitive guitar picking, twangy western bass line and a singular tapping drumstick–did not immediately draw me into the album. Mac’s signature low-chest voice with a side of smirk was the saving grace for me though, with the single line of the song repeating over and over only inflected two different ways throughout the three minutes. That low-toned voice of his was something I remember first striking me about Mac when I heard his first album, Rock and Roll Night Club, something I don’t recall being as prominent in his more recent albums. (Also pro-tip: I do recommend listening to the song first and letting the sonics inform your own visualization of it before letting DeMarco’s do the job, because once you watch this music video you will never be able to unsee it. There is nothing that will be able to prepare one for the disturbing visual experience that is that music video. I warned you).

 

 

This is Demarco’s first album released under his own record label, facetiously called in classic-Mac fashion, “Mac’s Record Label.” That’s something I’ve always admired about Mac, and something I think that makes him so alluring to the public even though he consistently is never trying to appeal to the public eye: he’s always himself. Unapologetically, but not in the way where he is rubbing in your face or using his confidence to preach some “be yourself” message. He just is, quietly most of the time, despite his outward goofiness and bizarre music videos. Even though music media and people are quick to label his music as “folk-indie stoner pop” or something similar, it’s clear that to Mac he wasn’t trying to be (and probably does not really want to be) the front running face for that kind of music.

I’ve felt that Demarco’s last album, This Old Dog, was the mellowest that he could ever do–but this album proved me wrong. Both of the last two albums were deeply personal–the last one, detailing his imperfect, distant relationship with his father. This one, Demarco uses the material of his personal life to produce introspective, revealing lyrics. On my favorite track of the album, “Finally Alone” Demarco sings, “You need a vacation/Somewhere that no one ever would dream to go/Somewhere mundane, hop on the train/See where it goes.” Another track I dig is “All of Our Yesterdays,” where Mac’s delivery is a little stronger and the chorus rolls out smooth and clean like freshly washed linen. I can’t say this is my favorite of his albums, but expecting an artist as recluse-like and private with his work as Mac is to top each new album from the last is a lot. He’s pretty prolific as an artist, and I think that’s what counts. Artists have to sift through inner material constantly and let it out whether or not it’s going to top the charts. The consistency of Mac’s output in his career and his loyal delivery of easy-listening tracks with sometimes straight-to-the-heart-piercing truths about life with each album is something that he hits on the head each time, even if the melodies aren’t particularly catchy.

Mac Demarco. From Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

 

If anything, this record is the perfect introverted person’s, chill bedroom day soundtrack. It presents no tricks in this–no warping guitar, no distorted voice fading back a bit into the instrumentals. His voice comes clear, as if he is in the same room with you, singing in close proximity to you. He becomes your introverted buddy, softly singing your pent-up introverted aggravations in your ear. On a cloudy, candle-lit afternoon at home in pajamas eating cereal all day like mine is here in SoCal, this record might just be your cup of tea.

 

Score: laying on your bed home alone making out constellations on the popcorn ceiling to pass the time

 

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