Mac DeMarco Finally Returns, But Does He Deliver?

Henrikch Aguisando, Reporter

Pomegranate Seeds 6/10

It has been over two years since Canadian singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco has released any new music. On January 20, he returned with a new instrumental project, “Five Easy Hot Dogs”. The album was written and recorded over the course of three months while DeMarco was on a road trip from Los Angeles to New York, with the goal of restoring the joy that came with writing music and bringing it back from just being a job.

As stated before this whole album is purely instrumental. For some this may be a turnoff, but you have to remember that some of the most beautiful musical and iconic pieces are just instrumental. In some cases they can work as great background music. In this case the music does just that. Each of the songs are well made, which display his craftsmanship. Synth melodies play through out the first half of tracks along a few sprinkled in toward the latter half of the album. They provide a soothing ambiance that pairs perfectly with the acoustic guitar. The finger picked acoustic riffs do make up a majority of the album with the exception of two tracks. They are the driving force for each song in terms of providing the feel of the album. The simple bass lines and calm percussion complement the guitar very well. The whole recording process was done through a minimalist recording setup he brought with him in his car, which makes a lot more impressive thinking about how well the produced the album was. It would be perfect to listen for taking a nature walk, going on a scenic drive, or just being outdoors in general.

That being said it feels like the songs could use lyrics on top of them. These songs sound as if he muted his vocals and forgot to turn them back on. There is one instance where you hear his voice which is at the very beginning. He counts himself into the start of the song and he is heard no longer. What is left are instrumentals that you can imagine him singing on which then leads to the feeling of wanting to hear him on the tracks. Overall even just a few tracks with vocals would have been nice to hear.

A couple of highlights on the album are “Portland” and “Vancouver.” Starting with Portland, the acoustic riff here takes a back seat to the weird noises that play throughout the song and the bassline. It reminds me of the Minecraft soundtrack. Vancouver on the other hand has a bouncy electric guitar riff with these little licks that play on top of it. This offered a change in sound that I felt was needed a this point in the album.

Mac DeMarco brings his classic sound while also toning it down to being very relaxed and chill, but it is missing his unique vocals and lyrics that his other projects offer. That is why I am giving this albumĀ 6/10 Pomegranate seeds.