2012 hosted a number of pleasantly surprising artist debuts and Montreal's Mac DeMarco was among them.
DeMarco, only 22 years old, previously recorded and toured as one half of Makeout Videotape. But in spring 2012, he released a solo singer-songwriter EP entitled Rock and Roll Night Club as Mac DeMarco. The album took off, resulting in the release of a full album, 2, in the fall.
The great thing about 2 is every song is strong enough to stand on its own. Tracks like "Cooking Up Something Good," "Ode to Viceroy," "Robson Girl" and "My Kind of Woman" are singer-songwriter fare with simple production. Though some might call it slacker rock, that's the appeal. Its beauty lies in its straightforwardness. Imagine a wittier, chain-smoking, Steel Reserve-pounding Jack Johnson wrestling with a few demons, and you're there. But the album doesn't tread into guilty-pleasure territory, either. DeMarco maintains an earnest vibe, mixing in a dash of funny and a little dark for good measure.
"Cooking Up Something Good" opens the record and showcases DeMarco's particular brand of lyricism: "Mommy's in the kitchen, cooking up something good / And daddy's on the sofa, pride of the neighborhood / My brother's in the ballet, it seems he's got it set / And I'll be up at midnight, with my cigarette."
The conclusion of 2, "Still Together," is the sort of timeless track that you might initially think is a cover. It's like a Hawaiian lullaby mixed with an Eric Clapton tune. "I've had my share, it's just not fair / that we should be together / but if it's fine that I've done my time / let's walk the line together," DeMarco sings, proving there's still a place in this world for an easy, classic love song.