For someone that is constantly referred to as a slacker, Mac DeMarco has been awfully busy as of late. The slacker association stems from his self-professed “bum chic” of loose-fitting comfortable clothes and is reinforced through his back catalogue of hazy songs about cheap cigarettes and his dad’s meth addiction. However, branding DeMarco a slacker is simply not fair – he has released four excellent full-lengths in as many years (excluding his recent free instrumental album), in between relentless touring and binge drinking.
You’d be forgiven for assuming that, due to the exhaustion that comes with non-stop touring or a lack of new inspiration, Mac’s releases would become repetitive and decline in quality as a result of churning them out as quickly as possible. But, if Mac’s new EP, Another One, proves anything it’s that this isn’t the case. Despite falling into the awkward middle ground of being too long to be released as an EP and not being long enough to be released as an album, Mac has released his new eight-track as EP. This becomes an indication of his intention, suggesting that this release is something to keep the ball rolling for his next full-length album – something to chew on in the meantime, if you will.
Mac’s sound hasn’t really strayed from the winning formula he found in last year’s stunning Salad Days, but, if you compare it to the two albums he released in 2012, Rock and Roll Night Club and 2, it becomes evident how much Mac’s music has matured in the last three years. Mac’s cigarette anthem Ode to Viceroy, and his denim jeans love letter, Baby’s Wearing Blue Jeans, would feel louche and uncomfortable placed on Another One, despite being magnificent songs in their own right. This is because, presently, Mac’s songs deal with themes of longing, lust, and isolation – the progression from deadbeat semantics to dealing with loss in his songs is the clearest example of his musical maturation.
If you are a fan of Mac Demarco, then you will like this EP, and if you’re not a fan of Mac Demarco then this EP will not make you a fan. Mac is using this EP not as a way of branching out his sound, but as a way of cementing down his fanbase through continuing the sound his last album – the stoned melancholic vibe is the perfect accompaniment to the depressing and paranoia of lyrics that ring through tracks such as Another One, Just To Put Me Down, and Without Me, springing similarities to Let Her Go, Chamber of Reflection, and Go Easy from Salad Days.
The wistful-yet-relaxing instrumental closer, My House By the Water, serves as a potential interlude that leads us into Mac’s next full release – personifying the idea that this EP was made to just keep the clock ticking. The song itself is an ode to Mac’s new house, er, by the water in Rockaway Beach – or, to be precise, at 6802 Bayfield Ave, Averne, New York. How do I know this? Mac gives us his address at the end of the EP and invites us round for a cup of coffee. It’s a nice gesture, one that doesn’t mean much, but, it’s more than enough to keep his ever-growing fanbase satisfied until the next one.