2015 is certainly shaping up to be the year of redefinition. Daniel Johns turned his falsetto up to eleven, Mumford ditched the banjo, and pop has taken a drastic turn for the liking across the alternative music scene at large.
In light of all this change, there’s one man who is still standing strong with a loyalty that will never falter; a charisma that has stuck to its guns this entire shape-shifting time. Yes, the loveable man-sized child Mac DeMarco is back with another stellar record, his mini-LP Another One. Aptly dubbed for referential convenience, the eight-track record – though in no way monotonous – is precisely that; “another one” of those short and sweet Tropicana serve-ups from the most stubbornly individual and relentlessly cool Canadian that we all know and love.
Earlier this year DeMarco released a free digital copy of an instrumental taste-tester mixtape in lead up to Another One’s release titled ‘Some Other Ones’, where fans were dared to fashion their own lyrics to the food-titled tracks that would suitably soundtrack a pre-release listening BBQ held in New York. Now almost precisely a year on from the release of his much-loved sophomore LP Salad Days, the Canadian has ditched the foodie-focus and is tugging at the heartstrings, with his most sophisticated album to date.
Whilst still keeping a low-fi surfer-pop vibe central, the twangy guitar riffs and lazily murmured vocals on Another One is a bittersweet collection of late-night bedroom love song dedications than tales from a Hawaiian luau. The phlegmatic tapping drum beats that drive the album forward happen to pave the way for a highly-textured layering, of with frequency modulations that almost simulate a Doppler effect. Amongst dreamy vocals and plenty of effortlessly cool guitar hooks, the must-hear guitar solo featured affirms quickly in ‘Just To Put Me Down.’
Tapping into DeMarco’s inner monologue as if read from a break-up diary written at 3AM, standout track ‘Without Me’ sheds a sentimental light on the usually carefree larrikin. The track is a prime example of DeMarco’s habitual and ingenious way of disregarding any possible downfall that can so easily arouse from the vulnerability of loss. Instead, channeling those energies into a pure and honest form, DeMarco’s ever so slightly and wonky artistic practice becomes impeccable in his songwriting.
In an ever-changing industry that encourages self-evolution and discovery, this stand-alone record, samples Mac Demarco’s pre-established compositional rubric that will forever nurture his strengths and unyielding individuality. In a way that is both admirable and enviable, Another One certainly hits the spot.
Another One is out today via Spunk Records/Captured Tracks.