Subscribe to our newsletter

Credit: Coley Brown

Music

Watch Mac DeMarco cover a classic Neil Young song

With each of his six studio albums released over the last decade, Canadian singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco has never ceased to impress. With his own brand of music described by many different genre names, but best described by the man himself as “jizz-jazz”, DeMarco has struck a successful formula. His style has evolved over his career drawing from myriad influences from jazz to folk to indie rock. 

DeMarco’s music is often labelled “slacker rock” due to its lazy and chilled out atmosphere and his youthful fun-loving attitude displayed on stage and in interviews. However, with the career DeMarco has pursued over the past decade, it is safe to say he is far from being a slacker. He began his pursuit of a successful music career by producing his own music alongside visual art projects where he spent time making psychedelic videos to accompany his music.

After a few months touring with a band from Vancouver named Japandroids in 2009, DeMarco decided to go solo. By 2011, he was living in Vancouver permanently having left his hometown of Killarney. In between shifts working for the highway maintenance crew resurfacing roads, he was hard at work creating his 2012 debut LP Rock and Roll Night Club. His hard worked hours and insatiable hunger for success finally paid off when his label, Captured Tracks, decided, based on this first album, that they would agree to release a follow-up album with a higher budget for production. Over the course of the next three years, DeMarco would make a name for himself with the release of his critically acclaimed albums 2 and Salad Days. 

This early push to stardom saw DeMarco become a household name in not just Canada, but worldwide with a strong following in the US and the UK. Since his latest album Here Comes the Cowboy released in 2019, DeMarco has been relatively quiet on the musical front with only a couple of collaborations and an appearance in Crowded House’s music video for their new track ‘Whatever You Want’. This hiatus has been fuelled by a run of cancelled gigs over the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but in October, he finally made a return to the stage following a line-up change in his band. As this new lineup has begun to gel, we hope it’s not long before DeMarco’s next album.

Mac DeMarco has often cited legendary musicians as key influences on his style from The Smiths to Steely Dan. One of his most obvious influences, was the late great Harry Nilsson whose unique wailing vocals can be heard in some of DeMarco’s songs, most notably in ‘Still Together’. Another musician DeMarco often cites fondly, is fellow Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young. Young’s style was originally based in folk, but over his six decades in the business, he has explored countless musical traditions and has even been labelled as the godfather of grunge. It’s his eclectic style that DeMarco has seemed most drawn to over the duration of his career and the influence can be heard through much of his music.

A few years back Mac Demarco and his band showed their love for their hero, Neil Young, in a beautiful cover of his song Unknown Legend.