Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Album of the Year: #1 Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

2014 has given the world an abundance of absurdly great records from the glitchy guitars of St Vincent to the poetic dark punk of Iceage. However one album jangled its way out of the cloud of brilliance and onto the top spot of my musical podium. Listening to Mac DeMarco's third album Salad Days is like meandering through the young Canadian's maze-like mind. DeMarco recently revealed to the NME that the album was largely based on his struggles with a constant touring lifestyle.

Title track 'Salad Days' kicks off the album with a bumbling baseline over which Mac fondly reminisces his youth but pledges that he has now moved on ("Salad days are gone/Remembering things/Just to tell them so long"). 'Blue Boy' sympathises with the story of a self conscious young man, DeMarco's affectionate soft vocals and relaxing guitars comfort the "blue boy". However, this calmness is juxtaposed by harsh lyrics, "Calm down/Sweatheart/Grow up" the boy is told. 

'Chamber Of Reflection' is possibly the album's highlight. A shroud of synth noise engulfs the track which consists of a plodding baseline and shimmering synth notes. DeMarco's vocals seem almost distant as he repeats a velvety chorus of "Alone again". Mac rounds off the album with instrumental track 'Johnny's Odyssey' in which bass and guitar skip along together, sunny rays of synth shine into the track here and there before the track plunges into silence. We are then left with a short message from DeMarco thanking us for joining him and wishing us farewell. 

Salad Days is without a doubt a fantastic album and it has brought me much joy since it's release in April. It is a shame that the lines between DeMarco's musical and personal lives have become slightly blurred with people scrutinising his relationships more than he would like. Despite this Mac seems to have accepted what comes with fame and having moved away from busy Brooklyn, hopefully we can expect more wonderful indie-pop goodness very soon!

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