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Music review: DeMarco hones songwriting skills on ‘Salad Days’

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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 7:30 pm

Following the 2012 release of 2, Mac DeMarco has become something of an indie-rock icon with his slacker attitude, shocking stage shenanigans and wonderfully laid-back rock tunes that seem more relaxed than ever on his new album, Salad Days. DeMarco is a 23-year-old Montreal musician who relocated to Brooklyn, where he signed to the indie recording label Captured Tracks. Recorded in his home studio in Brooklyn, Salad Days lacks much of the rambunctious, nervous energy of DeMarco’s previous work — for better or for worse.

Salad Days features significantly slower tempos than DeMarco’s previous album. But the new record retains much of the reverb-drenched production values of 2. DeMarco’s songs are characterized by crisp drum beats, detuned guitar licks, jazzy chords and his own classic-rock-inspired style of crooning. In the past, his songs were often built almost entirely around catchy guitar lines, but most of the new songs display a greater focus on lyrics and songwriting. Through Salad Days, DeMarco muses primarily on wasted youth and what it is like to come into adulthood, with a stray love song here and there. DeMarco recently said in an interview with Pitchfork: “I feel sort of weathered and beat down and grown up all of a sudden.”

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