Somewhere between radio-friendly flip-flop rock and impenetrably experimental indie rock, there’s Mac DeMarco. He’s got the easy-going voice, the gentle instrumentals and emotional honesty of lovesick singer/songwriter, but it’s all twisted into something knottier.
Dissonant, almost out-of-tune-sounding guitar riffs and chords help draw the line DeMarco is balancing on throughout 2. It’s clear from the first strums. “Cooking Up Something Good” opens the album with a lovely riff distorted into something discordant and nasally, and the effect only increases to a queasy level under the chorus. Then there’s the story in the song — half about the depressing slowness of suburbia, half about a daddy who’s cooking up drugs.
On the other end, both in position and content, is “Still Together.” Simple acoustic guitar backs DeMarco singing “I’ve had my share, it’s just not fair that we should be together / But if it’s fine that I’ve done my time, let’s walk the line together.” It’s all incredibly raw, from the scratching on the guitar strings to the cracks in his voice.
It’s not all so achingly deep, though. “My Kind of Woman” is a simple love song, “Ode to Viceroy” is about smoking cigarettes and “Freaking Out The Neighborhood” — an excellent showcase for DeMarco’s guitar chops — is a bad kid’s apology to mom.
The idea of blending singer/songwriter earnestly with edgier sounds and themes might seem a tad schizophrenic, but if that were true, it just wouldn’t work. 2 works because it captures something a lot of people probably want and feel — real, universal emotion coated in a little apathy, irony and weirdness. It’s easy listening for an uneasy person.