Mac DeMarco: "This Old Dog" | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #60 - Father John Misty

This Old Dog

Captured Tracks

May 01, 2017 Mac DeMarco Bookmark and Share

At 26 years old Mac DeMarco is a far cry from an old dog. But with his third full-length album he’s sounding older and wiser, containing his cadence, cutting the crusts off, his voice unapologetically and contentedly strolling through the stops in his mind. The image of DeMarco as a gap-toothed goof, a skater kid who seems to somehow have skated right in and out of his own music, is a little harder to envision on This Old Dog. He is certainly not too cool to care, and he’s certainly not just skating into anything. And he sat with these songs a bit longer, as the Canada-native moved himself and their demo versions from Queens to LA. These are not quick-washed, but gently cycled through his mind, hung out to dry and left for a while, lovingly folded and worn. Care and time is evident. Enough care in fact that he approaches the stragglier corners of adult easy rock. But his treatments are always a little swirl-eyed and bluesy, and his vocals always a little eloquently unperturbed-there is DeMarco himself to separate himself out.

“My Old Man” is a dainty little cul-de-sac, the brushy percussion and acoustic guitar gently looping through staircased synths and DeMarco’s ventilating scape, recalling The Clientele’s Strange Geometry. “This Old Dog” saunters through sweetly drifting inner conflicts. “For the First Time” mixes splashy noise-bending synths with chilly bass bumps. We are in the jazziest funhouse ever to be conjured. “One Another” is a crackly coo, jangly and lovable. “Sister” is a pangy, lo-fi touchstone, as concise as it is essential.

With This Old Dog, his distinctly DeMarco brand of baroque-infused folk is still built for the pauses in life but it feels a little steadier, and a little more self-aware. This music is not happening to him, he very much has a hand on it. And with his propensity for chameleon change, Mac DeMarco proves he is capable of adapting to seasons in his personal life through his music, never losing sight of the scrappiness, but developing and continuing to experiment. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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