Mac DeMarco (photo by Coley Brown, PR)
Here Comes The Cowboy
Mac’s Record Label Records
When it comes to music making, Mac DeMarco has always defied convention. Over the past decade, his homegrown, DIY approach has struck a chord with an ever-growing legion of passionate fans.
DeMarco’s chilled-out, relaxed attitude is in full bloom on Here Comes the Cowboy, the Canadian’s latest album and follow up to 2017’s This Old Dog. On his last album, DeMarco uncharacteristically exerted more production effort, recording songs that were more polished than usual.
But on Here Comes The Cowboy, DeMarco’s laid-back manner has gotten even more mellow (if that were possible), ultimately having more in common with much of his earlier material. He isn’t shy about revealing his desire to be a quiet homebody, blissfully out of touch with the very industry he works in. This outsider's perspective is readily evident within the grooves of Here Comes the Cowboy.
The simplicity of DeMarco’s arrangements and production are matched by his minimalist lyrics. DeMarco gets straight to the point on all of the songs, especially the poignant, acoustic love song “K” and “Hey Cowgirl,” with its simple plea: “Hey cowgirl / What’s it gonna be?”
There’s a humble melancholy that stretches through most the album, notably on “Nobody” and “On The Square." Lighter moments are evident too, via the breeziness of “Finally Alone,” in which DeMarco delivers a sweet vocal performance, and “Preoccupied,” where he is accompanied by birds singing outside an open window.
DeMarco’s quirkiness lopes through the oddly funky, “Choo Choo,” which is enhanced by a train whistle — and a gong. The title track is nothing more than DeMarco warbling “Here comes the cowboy,” repeating the lyric over a continually strummed guitar chord. Along those same lines, listen for an improvised, funk-lite jam hidden at the album’s end.
A mostly solitary project, DeMarco wrote all of the songs, played all of the instruments and sang all of the vocals, as well as produced, engineered and mixed Here Comes the Cowboy.
DeMarco's slacker rock flag flies high on this album, which is pure, unadulterated Mac. He flaunts its plain, overly-simplistic, sometimes downright weird vibe. But, don’t get completely caught up in the album’s idiosyncratic turns; there are sweet and heartfelt pop melodies throughout Here Comes the Cowboy. It all comes so easily for DeMarco, and it's such a pleasure to hear.