Mac DeMarco: “Freaking Out The Neighborhood”

Photo by Laura-Lynn Petrick

Mac DeMarco is a self-described immature 22-year-old, but that’s not the whole story. Sure, there’s the slacker charm: most press photos show DeMarco rocking a rumpled sweatshirt and a goofy hat, and he plays a beat up Frankenstein-like guitar that he bought for 30 Canadian dollars growing up in Vancouver. But the Montreal-based singer’s devil-make-care attitude hides his pop smarts. His songs are built around sugary-sweet hooks that often obscure the dark subject matter of his lyrics.

DeMarco’s dual nature is a direct result of his itinerant lifestyle. He’s repeatedly moved across Canada while picking up odd jobs to support his music, like working on a road crew or becoming a subject for medical tests. It certainly isn’t glamorous, but the lowered stakes have given DeMarco a keen eye for the odd. He made his debut under his own name last year with Rock And Roll Night Club, which featured silly skits in between the glammed-up soul songs. A few months later came 2, which toned down the cheekiness in favor of something more subdued. It’s a narcotic record, splitting the difference between R&B and ’90s slacker kings Pavement. Weirdos of every sort pop up repeatedly throughout the album, like on standout “Freaking Out The Neighborhood.” Over a stuttering-but-smooth beat, DeMarco apologizes to his mother for his skewed life. You’d almost believe him, if it weren’t for the wink in his voice.

Catch Mac DeMarco at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013:

Fri, Nov. 8, 3:15pm on the Orange Stage

Fri, Nov. 8, 12:30am at the North Door (official Fun Fest Nites show)

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