Mac Demarco

by Taylor William-Hill

Photo credit: Coley Brown at Pitch Perfect PR. 

Mac Demarco, Crack Delarko, Smack Vivaldo. Yes, these are all names I’ve heard people in windbreakers and vintage baseball caps call the enigmatic songwriter. Repartee aside, since first hearing the Salad Days demos back in 2014, Mac Demarco continues to release refreshingly original and tasteful tunes. With a general emphasis on simplicity using major, minor and the occasional dominant seventh, it’s the annunciation of Mac’s instrumentation and production that makes him so unique.

Mac creates his classic sound with his guitar playing, often using capos, open chords, vibrato and a helluva lot of tremolo; he fabricate his iconic lo-fi jangle pop sound. This sound is essentially a mixture of the above with a load of effects pedals such as chorus, experimental low-fi and a lil’ fuzz. It’s very rare you’ll come across a Demarco song with power chords and distortion unless it was to stack the former sounds to embellish his signature sound and make it more wholesome. Mac also creates his own flat drum sounds, devises his own basslines, manufactures ambient sounds on his synths and drowns out his conversational vocal lines with reverb.

Recognised early on for being psychedelic, Mac’s most recent album This Old Dog is an inevitable continuation of the evolution of the Mac Demarco Sound, while also finding new ground in Folk roots (listen to the albums eponymous track, for example). It’s no surprise that he has quite a dedicated fan base and is now raking up the monthly listeners on Spotify. The guy is as much a cult figure as he is a musician, and I am psyched to have landed a ticket to see him at 02 Academy in Bristol on the 26th November.