by Ryan McLean Davis
“DON’T GO,” I howled after I heard the rumor this morning that our darling Mac was hanging up the towel. But not to worry, my roommate is simply gullible, unlike me. Mac is still very much in the game. As I was doing my research though, I discovered his new album, Five Easy Hot Dogs, was released yesterday! I was ecstatic to say the least.
Basically, I feel like a fish in Mac DeMarco’s tank as he delivers me sweet aquarium realness. It is a series of songs with no lyrics, reminiscent of driving to the lake with the top down in the summer. Most of the tracks were indistinguishable from each other, blending together like a sort of fever dream, which was perhaps his intention. The album as a whole stayed consistent with the laid back sense of hopelessness that is present in his past work. “Portland 2” stood out because of the upbeat guitar picking and addition of the flute. The “Vancouver” trilogy, tracks 7-9, also stand out with their engaging chord progressions and lulling guitar tones. Mac introduces something fresh in “Chicago 2,” with his prominent use of the jaw harp, possibly hinting at more of a folk focus in his future.
Five Easy Hot Dogs may have been underwhelming to some, but it accomplishes what I think he wanted to do, which was to create an interesting and carefree collection of songs that serves as a documentation of the places he has been. Mac talks about his frustrations with the music industry today in an interview with Variety, saying that a lot of modern artists focus too much on appealing to how their music will be perceived or utilized on social media, instead of just making music for the love of it. He mentions that a lot of new artists also tend to not want to go on tour, whereas for him, the process of recording this album–going on a roadtrip to a bunch of different cities–sort of mirrored going on tour, and that was what made the album feel so natural for him. In the interview he goes on to say that the album “has its own weird little musical identity, and it doesn’t ‘slap,’ it doesn’t have ‘bangers.’ It just is what it is.” He loves listening to and making music and “doesn’t need extra baggage to come with it. It’s a very simple pleasure of being alive.”
Well said, Mac.
Shanfeld, Ethan. “Mac DeMarco on the Road to ‘Five Easy Hot Dogs,’ Quitting Nicotine and Why TikTok Is ‘Depressing’.” Variety, Variety, 21 Feb. 2023, https://variety.com/2023/music/news/mac-demarco-interview-new-album-five-easy-hot-dogs-tour-1235496148/.