Everyone has a story behind their favourite song—most of the time, anyway, and alternative rock singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco definitely has a story behind his. When the ‘Salad Days’ singer was asked about his favourite Paul McCartney number, he picked a relatively deep cut, ‘The Back Seat Of My Car’.
When listening back to the 1971 effort, it’s so easy to hear Mac DeMarco’s style in it. From the piano to the slight twang, the origins of influence is clear to see. Telling the story of how he fell in love with the song, DeMarco says: “I was 14 or 13 maybe. My sister got me a job — I was kind of the janitor at this veterinary clinic in the west side of Edmonton, where I grew up. She gave me a Paul McCartney compilation. I don’t know whether it was a greatest hits or from a certain era. I used to take the bus from junior high school to this job every day. I had a little Sony CD player and I used to blast this CD on the bus every day. ‘The Back Seat Of My Car’ was on there. I think a lot from that era was.”
DeMarco also took a moment to think about the Macca number stylistically, stating, “For me, that era of Paul is maybe my favourite recording or production fidelity. There’s something about that, something about the arrangement, something about the way the tone shifts. Before it gets there, it’s very floaty.”
He continues, “I feel like a lot of Paul stuff is very fun-loving, whimsical, who knows what these lyrics are even about. But it’s less about the meaning to me than the melody and the harmony. It’s always stuck out to me. There’s a part of that era of his work — there’s all these stories like he had this old tape machine and he would just plug the mics right in the back. This guy is one of the biggest, craziest musicians of all time.”
Considering some of the similarities, DeMarco admits that he finds a lot of direct inspiration from McCartney, especially in terms of his latest release, “I’m a bit of a fanatic. Hugely, still now. There’s a song on my last record that’s the most blatant Paul ripoff of all time. I love John, too. I love George. I love ‘em all. But it’s an interesting thing to look at that group and see not only their personalities or whatever, but that they each have their own musical voice that pokes through. You can hear it, because they’d swap around and play this or that. They’re a great band. What can I say? I think most people would agree.”
Given how iconic and resonant McCartney and The Beatles are to history, it’s safe to say that most people would, indeed, agree. If you want to take a listen to Mac DeMarco’s favourite Paul McCartney song, you can check out the influential track, ‘The Back Seat Of My Car’ down below.