By Kieran Webber
For a long time I have argued that Mac DeMarco is one of the most impressive songwriters to have been spawned this side of the 20th century: his latest release ‘This Old Dog’ only further solidifies this opinion. The third LP boasts his more daring songwriting and cleaner studio sound, yet it remains very much distinctive to Mac’s signature style.
The opening tracks ‘My Old Man’ and ‘This Old Dog’ introduce you to his new yet familiar noise, setting a deeply emotive tone from the bat. Although the songwriting may have matured the nonchalant vibe forever floats through his music, and the warm electronic sounds infused with wavy guitar are truly calming.
Yet Mac also introduces us to his new musical exploration with the funky ‘Baby You’re Out’ and the harmonica infused ‘A Wolf Who Wears Sheeps Clothes’. This musical expanse only plays into the mysticism of Mac and will surely turn heads as it showcases his musical talent.
However, the one remaining factor throughout ‘This Old Dog’ is the peeling emotion that with each passing track becomes more prevalent, until the closing track ‘Watching Him Fade Away’ where all is laid bare. The singer comes to terms with losing something he never had, a father. His father came in and out of his life yet Mac cannot speak ill of him, he can only simply watch him fade away. Mac has always managed to pull on the heartstrings of his listeners but this raw closing track is hauntingly beautiful.
It could be argued that this is DeMarco’s most coherent and complete album to date. This is the sound of a growing man turning love drunk all the while contemplating his family life growing up. His songwriting shines through the shimmering, wavy guitars that are classic of his sound and you can’t help fall to your knees at the beauty which Mac has crafted. He may be a goof in front of a camera but Mac has deeply tapped into his emotions and has the ability to write music that is soothing and beautiful.