Record review: Mac Demarco – 2 (2013, LP)

mac demarco

Regular listeners of Triple J (OK – I’m referring solely to myself here) can sometimes grow a bit weary with the constant stream of poor indie-rock and questionable cheese-pop transmitted into the world by the various – admittedly well-meaning – hosts on that particular radio station, but there are always diamonds in the rough, and twenty-three year old Canadian Mac Demarco is most definitely one of those. Despite being relatively unknown in Australia, the young multi-instrumentalist has already self-released several records under the moniker Makeout Videotape, using almost solely the cheapest of equipment, including a guitar he bought for $30 when he was sixteen. The music on 2 is a mix of lo-fi rock, off-kilter pop melodies, and wonderfully random lyrics, and while most of the songs sound almost exactly the same, the quality is good enough to be acceptable. ‘Freaking Out The Neighbourhood’ is the most recognisable tune here; it’s jangly surf-pop riff as catchy as it is simple. Under the scratchy, lo-fi veneer there’s some seriously good song-writing and cool, laid-back vibes, with Demarco’s delivery mostly coming across as lazily brilliant or brilliantly lazy, I’m not sure which (‘Ode to Viceroy’ being the best example of this). In a recent interview, he spoke of not being able to find steady work as a musician until a couple of years ago, but with a reputation for wild and goofy antics in his live shows, and now a stand-out album to boot, that shouldn’t be a problem for Mac Demarco any longer. (Captured Tracks)

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