TARA CARLIN reviews Mac Demarco’s new mini LP.
Mac Demarco calls Another One ‘a concept album about love.’ This goal carries the risk of resulting in something mundane, possibly even clichéd or pompous, but, with his lyrical and rhythmic skills, Mac explores this universal concept with individuality and sincerity. If anything, this record is even more personal and revealing than his preceding Salad Days.
As an artist, Mac is a constant paradox. He embodies the playful and carefree slacker persona in conjunction with his profound and often haunting tunes. The closing instrumental track ‘My House By The Water’ is the only explicit glimpse into his kooky side on this album, when he shares his actual address with his fans, inviting them over for coffee. Perhaps there’s something philosophical in this; he’s offering a shoulder to cry on for fans sharing these universal woes. Or perhaps he’s just looking for someone to make fart jokes with.
This collection of songs represents the fickleness of doomed love, the constant alternation between hope and defeat. ‘A Heart Like Hers’ laments being ‘locked inside a cage… trying so hard to believe in something that will never be’. Immediately after, we are provided with the party anthem of the album ‘I’ve Been Waiting For Her’, complete with jazzy riff-bending and swaying vocals.
That’s not to say Mac leaves this piece unresolved. There is also a clear sense of maturity that encompasses this collection. ‘Without Me’ is the penultimate song, expressing the woes of lost love but acceptance of its inevitability. He wishes nothing but the best for his former love: ‘Will she love me again tomorrow?/I don’t know. Don’t think so./That’s fine by me/as long as she’s happy’. What initially seems defeatist and depressing ends up being conclusive and ready for a new beginning.
This record adheres to Mac’s signature ‘jizz-jazz’ style, but with greater lyrical intensity and honesty. The title track ‘Another One’ echoes ‘Passing Out Pieces’ with its revealing angst: ‘the feeling never stops and neither does the clock, wishing for tomorrow, today.”
Another One isn’t merely something to keep our seats warm until Mac’s next LP. In fact, it presents some of the most honest and insightful lyrics that we have seen from him so far. We get our slacker fix yet again but he goes even deeper this time, with sweet and slow melodies and droning synthesizers, to illustrate that behind Mac’s goofy persona is someone who is trying to get by just like the rest of us.
Another One was released on August 7 by Captured Tracks.