Mac DeMarco has impeccable steez. In Salad Days, he pulls off his easygoing, “slacker rock” vibe with more confidence than ever. Thrust into the spotlight after the success of 2, DeMarco shows that he’s here to stay.
With his matter-of-fact vocals, catchy guitar riffs, and sunny melodies, DeMarco reminds us why he’s such an enjoyable, easy listen. The goofy, wonky Canadian has been spilling his raunchy rock for five years now and doesn’t give a shit what people think of it. He’s having too much fun to care.
The album opens with the lackadaisical charm of its title track. It’s followed by “Blue Boy” and “Brother,” which are supported by jangly tunes and chiming guitar. Calmingly chill, melodically crisp, lyrically sublime, and vocally soothing, Salad Days is 35 minutes of pink lemonade on a summer afternoon.
In spite of its fun-loving vibe, Salad Days underscores a newfound maturity in DeMarco. In the album’s single, “Passing Out Pieces,” (which is an absolute jam), DeMarco laments a weariness from the constant strains of touring and the pressure of success, but he “Can’t claim to care / Never been reluctant to share.”
The poetic love ballad “Let My Baby Stay” is the type of track that could teleport to any time period and successfully assert the catchiness of its melody. DeMarco then pushes his musical boundaries with the synth-driven “Chamber of Reflection.”
Salad Days is a coming-of-age album. DeMarco is no longer a Canadian vagabond. But despite experiencing success, he’s still overwhelmingly himself as he touches on coming to terms with his youth, heartache, and love. It’s all under the mantra of his sun-kissed swag, which shines as bright as ever.
The album is set for release an April 1 release, but can be streamed on NPR First Listen.