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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews


Mac Demarco

Buddy Holly followed the Big Bopper and Richie Valens up the stairs onto the aeroplane. At the penultimate step he stopped and looked up. The Big Bopper turned his enormous, block head around, "You coming, Buddy?"

Holly said nothing for a while and simply stared off into the distance, one hand gripping the handrail, the other tightly wound round the handle of his guitar case.

After what seemed like an eternity, a wry smile wormed its way across his face. His nose crinkling under those iconic bifocals, he finally uttered, "Nah man, not this time. I'm gonna go home and smoke weed with my girlfriend and write songs about cigarettes."

This is the scenario I've concocted in my head that I imagine Mac Demarco has founded his entire songwriting process upon. The young Canadian crooner crafts tunes as if they were torn from the pages of Writing Rock and Roll Songs For Dummies, never straying far from the most universal of inspirations that Holly and other rock and roll trailblazers favoured so faithfully in their work — the ideal of "love."

Each tune on 2 is laced with a simplicity and earnestness that is disarmingly charming. I can't listen to a single song without being transported away to a swinging hammock by the beach, my fingertips barely gripping the lip of the mouth of an icy Corona, the haze of a freshly smoked joint wafting around my head.

All of that's not to say that there isn't great musicianship on this album. Demarco proves on several verses throughout the record that he's more than capable of shredding a neck. And the production levels, although seemingly basic on the surface, upon closer inspection reveal several intricate layers that all function together seamlessly in presenting a united "easy going" front.

2 never changes gears, never hits any speed bumps, never dives into any pot holes — it just cruises along at a leisurely pace, like it's floating on it's back in a sparkling pool with a Pinocalada balanced on its belly.

Ode To Viceroy was the song that initially drew me to this record and for mine is the standout track on the album. A tribute to Mac's favourite brand of discount lung bungers, it's surf twanged guitars, bored-to-death drum beat and bouncy vocals lulled me into previously unexperienced depths of terminally chilled relaxation upon first listen — a thread, I later discovered, dreamily winds its way throughout the entire record.

However, the final cut, Still Together, is a song that I think will set up shop in my heart for a long time. A beautiful, acoustic ditty with an "In The Jungle" chorus, it packs a final, hidden Easter egg at the very end of the recording that just kills me.

I can't understand why an album with such a summery glow has been released this late in the year, as it rapidly approaches winter in North America, Demarco's biggest market. That being said, it won't stop me taking full advantage of 2 and making it my summer soundtrack for 2012.

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Mac Demarco


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