Mac Demarco Delivers and Depresses

Mac Demarco has been one of the marquee indie darlings for quite a while now. Each of his releases have received critical success as well as help established a dedicated and loyal fanbase.

However, his last release was Salad Days, which was released on April 1, 2014, over a year ago. It seemed like the timing for his new joint Another One would be perfect, and would continue his trend of putting out music in a quick and efficient manner.

The hype for the Another One LP was growing as the summer pressed on, with the single releases of “The Way You’d Love Her” and title track “Another One” giving a taste what might come when it finally dropped. The former was similar to what was heard on Salad Days, while the latter was a bit slower and possibly sadder than the average Demarco song, all the while hanging on to the essential vibe he emits in his music.

With the full album out, which only clocks in at 23 minutes long on eight songs, it appears that “Another One” was the better tell of what the mini-LP sounds like. The album doesn’t stray far away from the theme of love lost and doesn’t necessarily have the upbeat lyrics that are peppered into songs of his previous releases.

Songs such as “Just to Put Me Down” feature the smooth and loose guitar that is characteristic of Demarco’s music, but as the title suggests, the sound and rhythm aren’t a proper tale of what he is trying to lyrically convey.

Demarco is no stranger to love songs, but no other release has had such a specific focus on love itself. Nearly every song, save for the final instrumental track “My House by the Water”, focuses on Demarco’s relationship with a woman, most likely the same one.

Demarco’s girlfriend, Kiera McNally was deported back to Ireland from the U.S., where Demarco now resides after originally hailing from Canada. According to a recent Pop Matters’ piece by Dan Derks, Demarco shared this with Derks and the attendants of the Hideout Block Party/A.V. Fest in Chicago last summer, and Another One appears to give us an answer on how that separation has been going.

This is probably best conveyed in the somewhat upbeat “I’ve Been Waiting for Her”. Demarco says he’s been “listening closely for the rhythm to the beat of a heart like hers”, and is obviously doing his best to wait for her return or at least trying to find his next love.

We don’t know too much about his personal relationship, and Another One doesn’t necessarily answer too many questions, but the vibe and general direction of the album does imply that it isn’t going well, or that it’s over at this point.

Although the album may focus a bit more on his personal relationship with his girlfriend and doesn’t contain the few-to-several happy, fun tracks one might expect from Demarco, there is some optimism and positivity sprinkled in. It seems impossible for Demarco to be completely enveloped by his sadness, and the fact that he’s released this LP is proof of that.

To the outside reader, it may seem like the focus on Demarco’s relationship is petty, but very few artists create such direct and specific music to their personal lives like Demarco does. It may not directly affect his fans, but it has obviously become the primary focus of his music right now.

To sum up Another One, Demarco delivers his trademark sound while changing his pace and general vibe. Typically, his albums vary in speed, emotion and content, but Another One delivers to a very specific feel.

This isn’t a step sideways, forwards or backwards for Demarco. It’s a peculiar, but enjoyable album, and it’s almost as if the album would have never come out should his relationship issues not arisen. It has the feel of a one-off type of album, but with Demarco’s unpredictability, it could be the start of a new era of Demarco style.