By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)
Having appeased the appetite of hungry fans with his Another One mini album in 2015, Mac DeMarco has announced details for his course. This Old Dog, the peculiar lo-fi rocker’s follow up to 2014’s critically lauded Salad Days, is set to drop on May 5th via Captured Records and DeMarco has already stated that his fourth full-lengthLP will represent a new approach to his sound. “The majority of this album is acoustic guitar, synthesizer, some drum machine, and one song is electric guitar. So this is a new thing for me” said DeMarco in a statement, before adding that “this is my acoustic album, but it’s not really an acoustic album at all. That’s just what it feels like, mostly. I’m Italian, so I guess this is an Italian rock record.“
This is most clear on the title track which channels the raw feeling DeMarco demonstrated on his sophomore record 2 as well as some love drenched lyrics delivered in a way that only he can. While it may not be breaking any new ground, This Old Dog is still a delightfully chilled and solid piece of slacker rock which displays much of what DeMarco hinted at in his statement.
Making sure to leave fans with more than enough music to keep them content until the album’s release in a few months time, DeMarco dropped the reflective opener My Old Man. While not as stripped back as This Old Dog, My Old Man incorporates some simple synths that, in the context of the album’s concept, shine through as utterly delightful, showing that less can indeed be more. The lyrics, which are usually DeMarco’s strong point, are as touching and introspective as always, in no small part due to the different way he went about writing this album, saying in his statement:
Usually I just write, record, and put it out; no problem. But this time, I wrote them and they sat. When that happens, you really get to know the songs. It was a different vibe.
While his music prior to This Old Dog never resisted the urge to pack as much drum machine and synths as humanly possible, DeMarco’s resistance to overloading his tracks, as well as taking more time to let his tracks settle, arguably allows for his most mature work to date. Until his new album drops in May, it’s pure speculation as to how he’ll manage to keep fans entertained over the duration of 11 other songs but if these offerings are anything to go by, there’ll be no need to worry.
Mac DeMarco will perform two London show at O2 Academy Brixton on May 30 and May 31, and has also just announced new shows at Newcastle Academy on August 29 and Edinburgh Usher Hall on August 30.