As Edmonton’s gap-toothed couch king with a fondness for Viceroys, wavy guitar tones and downright hooliganism, Mac DeMarco’s third LP puts him at edge with his prior persona. While he moves beyond the guy who will muddily cover Limp Bizkit live, Salad Days presents DeMarco to be more of an observationist; self-reflecting upon months away from his longtime girlfriend Kiera while chain-smoking cheap cigs and exhaustively touring. Yet, this is how Mac DeMarco’s work ethic has persistently grown. As he vocalizes in “Goodbye Weekend,” “don’t go telling me how this boy should be leading his own life” – a mantra of sorts to his emerging façade.
Favorably so, Demarco has returned with more of the wafty hammock melodies that he made distinctly his own with his 2012 release, 2. Salad Day’s most eloquent track “Let Her Go” also stands as the most commercially groomed, though “Brother” and “Passing Out Pieces” amount to what DeMarco is culminating towards – but despite these generalizations, a listen to “Chamber of Reflection” is heavily suggested. It takes DeMarco (actual name being Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV) out of his 200-foot New York apartment and breathes fresh air into his now-patented songwriting, constructing an insatiable ballad of estrangement. It’s the farthest he’s pushed his sound, something friend and fellow fan Tyler, the Creator expressed alongside his tweet “DEAR MAC DEMARCO I LOVE YOU YOU ARE AWESOME.” Salad Days succeeds as a feel-good affair, until DeMarco leads you back into the world, holding your hand and finally saying, “Thanks for joining me, see you again soon, buh-bye.”