Album Review: MacDemarco – Another One

If you’re looking for an album with more flange guitar, simplistic drum beats and dreamy vocals, then here is another one to add to the list of Mac DeMarco’s masterpieces.

The Canadian musician releases Another One, a mini-album with 8 short tracks, all recorded in his apartment. The songs were made on a break from his tour, and follow the release of Some Other Ones; another EP of similarly-styled tracks that became available to download for free in July. It seems that Mac is eager to get as much music as possible out there, and wants to establish a style, originally put forward in Salad Days, and refined in this latest release.

For followers of DeMarco, it will be apparent that Another One is not drastically different from Salad Days in terms of overall style or approach. What we see are added touches, refinements and enhancements of the particular type of tracks we’ve seen before. This was the same for Salad Days and 2 – we are observing a musical development; Mac’s journey. Another One appeals to the masses, taking up the universal theme of love and the hurt that surrounds it: frustration, sadness, jealousy and more are all emotions that everyone understands, and music that a large group of people can empathise with can define successful music in any genre.

What we see on Another One is added touches, refinements and enhancements

The tracks on this release once again instil a sense of ‘chill’ for the listeners – the laid-back, relaxed vocals alongside the twangy guitar and funky drum beats would be a perfect accompaniment to a post-party comedown gathering for those that stayed over. ‘Without Me’ displays a fluid chord progression performed by classic synth sounds, as his vocals entail how a woman may be better off without him. Following this, ‘Just to Put Me Down’ gives us an insight to Mac’s emotional side – the lyrics “pick me up, just to put me down” alongside manic electric guitar riffs manufacture an extremely heartfelt song, which is a nice touch from a singer who’s goofy jerk-off persona might too-quickly have him dismissed as much happier or stable than the rest of us.

Other heartfelt moments are provided by instrumentation alone; the track ‘My House by the Water’ involves only the sound of the moving sea and some dreary, sombre keyboard-synth melodies. Following this short serenade, Mac reveals his address and invites the public to stop by for a coffee. I think he’s just letting us know he’s still Mac. The most endearing thing about him and his albums is that he is not trying to forge a new path or create a revolution. His continual yet slow stylistic progression from album to album reflects a musician with one goal in mind: to create good songs. This latest bunch of tracks suggests he is more than capable of doing so.

I think he’s just letting us know he’s still Mac

Another One is like a novella, or an aural canapé: something to chew on whilst we wait for the next major work to come out. In this release, we observe expressions of paranoia, of jealousy and of wondering; wondering as to whether there is “another one” knocking at your lover’s door. Summers are always full of hedonism and highs, but there is also room for the languid and the lovesick, and if you fall into the latter category, give this record a listen.

Will McCartney

Will is currently listening to ‘C U Yh’ by Jay Faded

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Co-Editor of the Music Section at University of Nottingham's IMPACT Magazine.

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