Mac DeMarco’s calming, laid-back attitude is mirrored in his 80s-esque, synth-driven slow jams. His latest LP, This Old Dog (out May 5), sees the recent 27-year-old deliver his most personal music yet with lyrics that speak to family matters -- namely his often absent father -- and growing out of his 20s; all while managing to create a body of work that, at times, feels ageless and entirely anonymous.
“A lot of the songs I wrote not thinking I was going to put them on an album, so I didn’t put up any block or barrier,” DeMarco tells Billboard. “I was just letting it flow.” The Canadian-born singer-songwriter cites the work of a fellow Canadian, Neil Young’s Harvest, as one of his most influential records and says he is always trying to make that album, but with synths. He recalls how Young “is somebody that my family has listened to since I was really young."
Looking to the past largely shaped this album, from the lyrics even to the way in which the record was pieced together. Back in early 2016, DeMarco wrote several songs that he says “were just for myself” while still living in New York. Since he didn’t plan on sharing them with the public, they ended up sitting for some time -- a new, and unintentional, tactic for the indie artist, considering in the past once he has finished a project he typically releases it “as quickly as possible” (evidenced by the five projects he has released in the past five years). Once DeMarco’s label told him if he wanted to put out a record in early in 2017 that it would have to be done around Christmas time, he decided to start by pulling from the ones he already had.