Mac DeMarco Returns

Mac DeMarco’s newly released album cover for the LP coming out in late Jan. The cover image features a sewer flooded with twigs and tree branches–hopefully eluding to a deeper meaning.

Photo from Mac’s Record Label.

Mac DeMarco’s newly released album cover for the LP coming out in late Jan. The cover image features a sewer flooded with twigs and tree branches–hopefully eluding to a deeper meaning.

After allegedly retiring for the last four years, famed musical artist Mac DeMarco is set to return to the spotlight once again. 

At the beginning of Jan. 2023, the multi-talented musician announced that he would be releasing music previously recorded in 2022 as a newly-released album. The title is “Five Easy Hot Dogs.” 

With 14 new songs, all but three are listed as parts one, two and three. Keeping with his reputation for an eccentric sound and style, DeMarco has released the names of the songs, including “Victoria,” “Vancouver (2) (3)” and “Gualala.” 

Speaking about the titles of these songs, DeMarco reveals that he made the recordings on the road to different cities that he visited while exploring the North. 

DeMarco plays a show in Glastonbury in 2019 when he most recently released new music. DeMarco plays his signature guitar that he has continued to use from the age of 15. (Photo by Paul Carless. Photo from Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC BY 2.0)

In his announcement, he says that the experience bloomed out of a simple trip. 

“The plan was to start driving north, and not go home to Los Angeles until I was done with a record,” DeMarco explained on his website. “Kind of like being on tour, except there weren’t any shows and I’d just be burning money.” 

As for the song names, on DeMarco’s website, he explained: 

“Five Easy Hot Dogs is a collection of instrumental recordings from Mac’s time on the road. All of the songs on Five Easy Hot Dogs were recorded and mixed in the corresponding city from each song title, and the tracklisting reflects the chronological order in which the pieces were produced.”

This explains why each song was dubbed city names, creating an alternative to his quirky regulars such as, “Freaking Out the Neighborhood,” “Cooking Up Something Good” and “Salad Days.” 

However, there is one aspect of the announcement that’s causing some backlash towards the album that is still yet to be released. The collection of songs are said to be mainly instrumental, which excludes one of DeMarco’s signatures to his music–his lyrics. 

Sophomore Kaitlyn Pozzi loves DeMarco’s music and believes that what makes his style unique would be his lyrics. She acknowledges that DeMarco produces and plays all of his own instruments, and the creation of an instrumental album would therefore be more influential than others before.

“Even though I love how Mac DeMarco writes his lyrics, I’m really excited to see how he creates mostly instrumental music,” Pozzi expressed. “He already has amazing instrumentals in his other songs so I have faith that this album will be good.”

She continues to note that she’ll listen to the new album when it’s released and is excited to see what others think as well. 

On the contrary, junior Evan Humphrey is skeptical of the album’s release. Although ecstatic and surprised by the artist’s long-awaited return, he’s interested to see how DeMarco shapes instrumental music.

“I was pretty happy finding out about the album release,” Humphrey said. “I’m stoked to see him back on the scene […]  and, honestly, I know [the album] has gotten some hostility already, but I feel kind of indifferent about it since his songs are mainly instrumental and are usually really good, so I

DeMarco’s signature vibrant and eccentric energy while performing in the Austin City Limits Festival. His gap-toothed look made famous simply because it represents his journey to loving himself. (Photo by Ralph Arvesen. Photo from Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC BY 2.0)

think it’ll balance out and be enjoyable either way.”

DeMarco’s said “disappearance” is what really intrigues fans about this particular LP. DeMarco recently explained his reasoning for remaining away from the spotlight for over four years was the Coronavirus pandemic, which shaped modern life into something of a dystopia. He claimed that his inability to travel and experience the world put a mental block on any pieces to be released. 

This explains why fans haven’t heard from DeMarco since 2019 when he released “Here Comes the Cowboy,” including a total of 14 new songs. 

Sophomore Grant Connolly voiced his opinion on Mac’s sudden return:

“I was surprised when I found out he was releasing a new album because I had thought that he was retiring from music or stopping completely for no reason. I think that the new album being mostly instrumental will bring a new style to his songs and could be interesting. Either way, it’ll be cool to see what he’s been up to.”

DeMarco’s much-awaited Long Play album is said to release on Jan. 20, with an individual vinyl record release on May 12. Fans can find the new songs on all streaming platforms and are eager to see what DeMarco will surprise them with next.