Henry Lewis had the pleasure of reviewing the fourth full length release from the Canadian singer songwriter, where Mac picks up from where This Old Dog left off with another collection of slakcer rock gems.
Last updated: 2nd May 2019. Originally published: 30th Apr 2019
Image: Mac DeMarco
After announcing earlier in 2019 that he was set to release album number four, Here Comes The Cowboy, slacker rock superstar Mac DeMarco was, surprisingly, met with some disapproval.
The accusations were that DeMarco was treading on the toes of Japanese American singer songwriter Mitski, who just months before had released an album entitled Be The Cowboy, also with a lead single called 'Nobody'.
A handful of fans took to Twitter to say that he was attempting to troll her - naturally denied by Mac in an interview with Huck Magazine, saying: "“I didn’t know who Mitski was!” he said. “I’m bad at keeping up with music. I only listen to The Beatles and video-game music from when I was a kid. Sorry.”"
Realistically, what actual gain could Mac get from doing this? It seems nothing more than coincidence, and as Mac said in the same interview “With this album, I just made a record. I’m not trying to say anything about anything. I’m taking a back seat. If you wanna listen, you can. If not, that’s okay." This, very simply, is what he has always done, and very well too.
Here Comes The Cowboy is no different, and is another lesson in songwriting excellence from the Canadian, and now L.A native, who has released his fourth full length record via his own label, aptly called Mac’s Record Label.
Opening with the repetitive, yet somehow still top class, title track the album starts as it means to go on: tongue in cheek, grooving subtly and with Mac demonstrating his immense vocal range from the off.
The overall feelingthroughout is very similar to previous release, This Old Dog which came in 2017, only this time the focus for Mac seems to have shifted back onto the guitar, although a few keyboard driven gems are on display.
The best of which, and this album's ode to 'One More Love Song' comes in the form of 'Heart to Heart' which arrives just over half way through the record and, although there seems to be a smirk on DeMarco's face in everything he does, his heartbreakingly good ballads are always a thing of beauty.
Both singles from the record, 'Nobody' and 'All Of Our Yesterdays', sound warming and familiar, the latter a clear bi product of a writing session that produced the likes of 'This Old Dog'. It's followed up on the album by an ode to 'Dear Prudence' in 'Skyless Moon', where Mac marries Beatles-esque psychedelia with his unique 'jizz jazz' styling for a truly stunning penultimate track.
The closer to this album is a treat for two reasons: Mac has gifted the listener two songs.
The first, entitled 'Baby Bye Bye', sees DeMarco deliver a genre bending farewell, firstly yacht rock and then country honk, and when its long lasting refrain finishes and you think that's that.
But it isn't.
The rock'n'roll grooves that opened the record are back for a hidden closing track where Mac goes full cowboy, all whoops, hollers and yeehaws; you'll have to hear for yourself.
Overall Here Comes The Cowboy is another solid collection of songs, and a worthy addition to Mac's ever increasingly brilliant back catalogue.
Mac the cowboy is a certainly interesting prospect; he's a man of deep introspect, and at times melancholy, yet the bravado is always present. There is a lot of emotion stored up in this record, and yet even with pain in his voice, Mac seems to have a fixed smile.
It's up to the listener, however, to decide whether its painted on or not.