On his ever-so-aptly titled third studio LP Salad Days, Mac DeMarco has tossed away his adolescence like an old crummy pack of viceroy cigarettes.
The Montreal maestro’s prose has been dramatically influenced over the past two years. Absorbing the whirlwind of fastidious touring and discovering the surmountable onslaught of bullshit that accompanies the rise of a successful musician, DeMarco has been forced to desert his boyhood – and has no issue talking about it.
But hey, this emerging, serious sentiment is of no concern for fans of Rock And Roll Nightclub or 2; the coasty jangle-pop glaze that charmed our hearts still sonically saturates this release. The artist has merely upped the echelon lyrically, producing one of the most refreshing records of 2014.
The 23-year-old opens the album with title track ‘Salad Days’ in an angst-riddled manner. ‘Goodbye Weekend’ follows suit as DeMarco raises his middle finger to naysayers demanding, “Don’t go telling this boy how he should be leading his own life” before his frustration implodes to a jizz-jazz face-melter that would even raise Shuggie Otis’ brow.
‘Chamber Of Reflection’ is the gap-toothed goof’s most daring piece of work, charging forward as an entirely synth-driven track. The singer’s vocals are on the rawer side of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker whilst pertaining to the Pond space-rock combustion that the Perth band rocked on 2013’s Hobo Rocket.
But would you believe that the most exhilarating moment of Mac’s Salad Days is a stripped-back love ballad? ‘Let My Baby Stay’ unveils a poetic prowess as his introspective conscience rasps, “Far as I can tell / she’s happy / living with her Maccy” before pleading repeatedly “So please don’t take my love away / let my baby stay!”
Many may raise that the ‘fun’ has been lost on this record, but on the contrary, DeMarco has cemented himself as an artist that doesn’t need to produce crowd-pleasing, sugary-pop tracks forever. He can be in despair, pissed off, and mad in love like the rest of us.
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Listen to ‘Passing Out Pieces’ from Salad Days here: