MAC DeMARCO plays the Drake Hotel Wednesday (November 14). See listing. Rating: NNNN
This has been a hell of a good year for Mac DeMarco. After moving to Montreal from Vancouver and dropping his former moniker, Makeout Videotape, his Rock And Roll Night Club EP grabbed him heaps of critical adoration last spring, and his new debut full-length, 2, is even better. He's still working that warbly stretched-tape sound and hasn't dropped his quirky sense of humour. But it feels like he's taking things a bit more seriously.
If Rock And Roll Night Club was a playful experiment, 2 finds DeMarco applying everything he learned from it with impressive results. He's still got that loose and lazy vibe, but he's genuinely committed to that sound now, and there's an easy confidence here that was only hinted at previously. Countless acts have shamelessly imitated the Velvet Underground, but DeMarco has come up with a new tweak to that formula, coming closer to a lighthearted Modern Lovers feel without sacrificing the edginess and darkness of the VU.
Top track: Cooking Up Something Good