Mac DeMarco – 2 Captured Tracks CT-164 (2012)
Mac DeMarco is basically a more working class, Canadian counterpart to lo-fi “hypnagogic pop” artist Ariel Pink. Whereas Pink had a thoroughly middle-class upbringing, attending an artist school and being exposed to the urban environment of the Beverly Hills area of California, his music exhibits an exposure to a wide variety of music and a kind of boredom and apathy that is uniquely a part of middle-class life. DeMarco hails from the rather remote oil town of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He has interests in the more DIY part of the spectrum of singer-songwriters, like Jonathan Richman and even Shuggie Otis. To that he adds a general awareness of contemporary indie folk rock. His lyrics are confined to rather limited themes, and take things more at face value than someone like Pink. DeMarco has, in this sense, a more blue collar perspective, more concerned with sensual gratification in mapped out avenues, with only minor detours (the scope of these detours are somewhat exaggerated in his music). He also overuses certain processing effects on his guitar. He’s committed to creating a lo-fi sound from what seems like higher fidelity equipment. This is a little problematic. The music is a bit disingenuous. His melodic sense is not particularly developed, and the songs kind of drag after a while. The best here is “Freaking Out the Neighborhood,” which can almost pass for what Pink was doing a decade earlier.