Album review: Mac DeMarco, “This Old Dog”

by Jon E. Lynch

Mac DeMarco, “This Old Dog”

Available: Friday, May 5, via Captured Tracks in a variety of audio options: Digital download in various formats, cassette tape, compact disc ,and a gatefold jacket-packaged LP.

There is an extra-snazzy, exceptionally-limited edition LP version limited to 4,000 (likely sold-out) copies with an alternate artwork gatefold jacket packaging and an “ombre vinyl pressing,” which comes in a variety of vinyl colorways that will be totally unknown to the purchaser until opened. Sounds as though most are combinations of yellow, blue, and green.

I think it is about time that MacBriare Samuel Lanyon DeMarco gets his comeuppance. The wonderfully aloof and off kilter signature sound of DeMarco’s previous records is best on display in “This Old Dog,” his fifth studio LP. His lyrics are heartfelt and genuine while simultaneously hilarious and coyly self-effacing. His aww-shucks grin is Alfred E. Neuman incarnate. Tracks such as “Moonlight on the River” dip into found sounds, ethereal hums, and a saccharine coo perfected. ”For the First Time” and “Dreams From Yesterday” each seem to feature his signature hybrid Mosrite/Teisco guitar and “that” tonal quality that is now, more or less, solely his. Well, his and an AM radio quality of yesteryear. Perhaps the first great album to soundtrack your summer. Slacker vibes, lazy floats, sunny backyards (or decks!), dust motes and train-coal haze. If you didn’t snatch a limited LP straight from him/his record label, head to your local record store posthaste.

Recommended for fans of Steely Dan, Hall & Oates (meant as a 100 percent irony-free compliment) Deerhunter/Atlas Sound, Daniel Johnston, Ariel Pink, or Kurt Vile.

— Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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