Mac DeMarco - Here Comes the Cowboy
May 10, 2019
From this and Vampire Weekend coming out in the last two weeks, it's a grand time for quirky white collage students.

I've never really gone out of my way to listen to Mac DeMarcos music, which i've realized now is a slightly annoying last name to type out over and over again. It's not like h'es creating bad music or anything (My Kind of Women is such a banger) it's just not really the type of music I listen to all the time. So when this popped up as a new release, I didn't really notice at first.
Then my friends started hyping this up as 'his best album' and 'his masterpiece'. This obviously caught my attention as they were very passionately screaming about how good this record is, something i've never expected from them. My friends usually are quite lowkey people, and to see them in such a frenzy was an oddity to me.
Naturally I got caught up in their hype, and decided to give it a listen (despite my overthinking stopping me from listening to any record in the last couple weeks).

Yep Mac has gone full 'sad yeehaw' on us.

I mean, with track titles like 'Choo Choo' and 'Hey Cowgirl, and a track which is literally just Mac singing 'Here Comes the Cowboy' for three minutes straight, its hard not to get caught up in the western feel that this album is clearly going for. The album literally ends with him screaming 'Yeehaw' over a funk beat!
But at the same time, this is a very melancholic and self reflecting record, almost as if it was written at the grand canyon at midnight. The prominent synths from previous records are still very prevalent, but now are more laid back, with somber tones laced into their sound.
Another sound to this album is its almost acoustic feel, with the guitar work feeling very minimal and subdued, much like a lot of the percussion and drum work here. The production feels stripped back and much more simpler then some of the more 'big' sounding tracks we've heard from Mac.
It almost screams 'indie'. And with these stripped back instrumentals, Mac is able to really stretch those vocal chords, and deliver some memorable vocal melodies with some pretty weighty lyrics of Macs rise to fame and his inner fears, and his more mellow side fully comes out in these lyrics. Hell, on On The Square, he full on goes off about 'Big Brother' and talking about a life that doesn't exist.

It's definitely a nice sounding record. It's calming, somber at moments and really relaxed sort of vibe to the whole album.
But...i'd be lying if I said this is a 'masterpiece'. I think my biggest problem for me is just that: me. This isn't the type of music I listen to CONSTANTLY. I'll pop it on if the mood calls for it, but this type of indie music I personally don't constantly come back to.
It's the same problem I have with Stella Donnelly and Julia Jacklin. It just keeps falling into the background for me, and I can't switch myself to be fully immersed in the musical soundscape when near to NOTHING is happening! Yes, what they are doing is really good and wholesome, and there are moments when the album does become truly interesting, but for the duration of this album, it features a sound I don't really personally connect with.
And it is kinda a weird record. Not in the same way a Xiu Xiu record is, but in it's own odd bubble of 'What was the creative decision of having a funk track about a train in in between a collection of tracks about Macs love life?'. It's clear that Mac has a wild sense of humor that carries over to this album (the outro to Baby Bye Bye had me in fucking stitches) but there are moments where it does detract from the emotional core of this record.

To Mac DeMarco faithfuls: this is more or less the same Mac DeMarco that has been on all of Macs albums, but much sadder and melancholic in tone, you'll probably love this.
To the newcomers: This might not be the best jumping in point, but if your interested in some nice, chill vibes to sit back and relax to, then you can't really go too wrong with this album.
To my friends: I'm gonna be honest, this isn't the 'best record Mac has ever put out', but I've really only heard this one and This Old Dog, so I can't really say a lot on that front.
And to the people who are reading this to know if I like this or not (all three of you): It's not for me, clearly, but I know why it exists and what purpose it serves in the grand scheme of music. It's not awful, but not a record that will be my go to for 'chill vibes'.

Favorite Jams: Little Dogs March, K, All of Our Yesterdays

Lest Favorite: Hey Cowgirl

Also the music video for On The Square is so good. Like damn. One of my favorite music videos of the year so far.
1 Comment
May 10, 2019
i majored in collage in college
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