Mac DeMarco has always had an intriguing style — a personality that combines Prankster Prince with Thoughtful Dude. His albums reflect it, and more and more, the latter is coming on stronger.
On the title track, the opening track, of Salad Days, DeMarco sings “act your age” over and over. On “Brother,” he advises, “You’re no better off living your life than dreaming at night.” There’s a hint of impishness on “Let Her Go,” a song that plays with the “if you love her, let her go” trope, eventually admitting he doesn’t care with a spoken-word break: “Or you can keep her, it’s OK, it’s up to you.”
That song, as lyrically dreamily thoughtful and melancholy as the rest, is the most upbeat of the bunch. Salad Days isn’t a big departure from his usual style. Words like “loping” and “ambling” frequently pepper reviews of DeMarco’s albums. Drums shuffle, guitar melodies wind around each other amiably and his voice never reaches an intensity level greater than chilled out.
Salad Days isn’t going to change the minds of those who find DeMarco a little irritating, nor is it going to drive away those who love him. Maybe, as he seems to get more serious and refines his winning formula, he’ll earn more fans. This kind of dreamy rock is hard not to fall in love with.