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This Old DogBefore you ancients out there turn your heads and scoff at the premise of a twentysomething
rock-and-roll goofball calling himself an old-anything, consider this: Mac
DeMarco has spent the better part of his time thus far writing, recording, and releasing
an album of his own music pretty much every calendar flip.
This Old Dog makes for his fifth in just over half a decade-bringing the total to 3 LPs and 2 EPs. According
to the DMV, DeMarco is 26. But in working-dog years, ol' Mac here could easily
qualify for social security. To stay gold, turns out all he needed was some new tricks.
It was a little space-in time, location, and method-that inspired DeMarco while
making the record. Moving from his isolated Queens home to a house in Los Angeles
helped give the somewhat transient Canada-native a base, and a few more months
on his calendar to create did their job as well. Arriving in California with a grip of
demos he'd written in New York, he realized after a few months of setting up his new
shop-complete with a few new toys-that the gap was giving him perspective (insert
tooth joke here).
Right off the bat, from the pops and clicks of the CR-78 drum machine and acoustic
strums on the album-opening "My Old Man," the synth-drenched beauty of the
second track, "This Old Dog," it's clear that DeMarco's bag is filled with new tricks
indeed. This Old Dog is rooted more in a synth-base than any of his previous releases,
but he is careful not to let that tactic overshadow the other instruments and overall
"unplugged" mood of the work: "This is my acoustic album, but it's not really an acoustic
album at all. That's just what it feels like, mostly," says DeMarco.
Despite the changes considered during the creation of This Old Dog, Mac DeMarco's
mid-twenties masterpiece, it's clear that the engine that motors him is in no
danger of slowing down.1. My Old Man
2. This Old Dog
3. Baby You're Out
4. For the First Time
5. One Another
6. Still Beating
8. Dreams From Yesterday
9. A Wolf Who Wears Sheeps Clothes
10. One More Love Song
11. On The Level
12. Moonlight On The River
13. Watching Him Fade Away$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Salad Days"As I'm getting older, chip up on my shoulder..." is the opening line from Mac DeMarco's
second full-length LP 'Salad Days,' the follow up to 2012's lauded 'Mac DeMarco 2.'
Amongst that familiar croon and lilting guitar, that initial line from the title track sets the tone
for an LP of a maturing singer/songwriter/producer. Someone strangely self-aware of the
positives and negatives of their current situation at the ripe old age of 23.
Written and recorded around a relentless tour schedule (which picked up all over again as
soon as the LP was done), 'Salad Days' gives the listener a very personal insight into what
it's all about to be Mac amidst the craziness of a rising career in a very public format. The
lead single, "Passing Out Pieces," set to huge overdriven organ chords, contains lines like
"...never been reluctant to share, passing out pieces of me..." Clearly, this isn't the same
record that breezily gave us "Dreamin," and "Ode to Viceroy" but the result of what comes
from their success. "Chamber of Reflection," a track featuring icy synth stabs and soulful
crooning, wouldn't be out of place on a fantasy Shuggie Otis and Prince collaboration.
Standout tracks like these show Mac's widening sound, whether insights into future
directions or even just welcome one-off forays into new territory.
Still, this is musically, lyrically and melodically good old Mac DeMarco, through and through.
The same crisp John Lennon / Phil Spector era homegrown lush production that could have
walked out of Geoff Emerick's mixing board in 1972, but with that peculiar Mac touch that's
completely of right now. "Brother," a complete future classic, is Mac at his most soulful and
easygoing but with that distinct weirdness and bite that can only come from Mr. DeMarco.
"Treat Her Better" is rife with "Mac-isms," heavily chorused slinky lead guitar, swooning
vocal melodies, effortless chords that come along only after years of effort, and the other
elements seriously lacking in independent music: sentiment and heartfelt sincerity.
We're only at Part 2 and 1/2 (one EP and two LP's in) into Mac's career. As you read this
and as you hear the album on April Fool's Day of this year, he'll probably be on tour, or
preparing for one... or maybe already writing new music. A relentless work ethic is something
to be admired in today's indie music scene, but when it's of the quality Mac is giving us time
and time again, it starts to turn from admiration to awe1. Salad Days
2. Blue Boy
4. Let Her Go
5. Goodbye Weekend
6. Let My Baby Stay
7. Passing Out Pieces
8. Treat Her Better
9. Chamber Of Reflection
10. Go Easy
11. Jonny's Odyssey$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Another OneLike the days of Steely Dan or Harry Nilsson releasing a classic album every year (or less) comes Mac DeMarco's Another One, a Mini-LP announced one year after the release of the meteorically successful Salad Days. Written and recorded during the downtime between a relentless touring schedule, Another One is an eight-track release that expands the arsenal of Mac's already impressive catalog, showing the maturity of Mac's progression as songwriter: it's a bit more refined, a bit more sophisticated, but nonetheless retains the guts and soul of classic Mac. Despite working at the same pace as artists like Creedence and The Rolling Stones, coupled with an equally unending schedule of touring and press, it's odd that Mac is labeled as a slacker. With two full-lengths and two EPs released and hundreds of sold out shows performed in the last several years, a recent late night television debut on Conan following a special performance on The Eric Andre Show, it seems, as Mac nears his 25th birthday, there's not a slack bone in the man's body. Great songwriters don't need to reinvent themselves; they just need to keep going and let the songs out in the world. Thus, here's Another One.1. The Way You'd Love Her
2. Another One
3. No Other Heart
4. Just To Put Me Down
5. A Heart Like Hers
6. I've Been Waiting for Her
7. Without Me
8. My House By The Water$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Midnight Snack (Awaiting Repress)Homeshake is the pseudonym and solo project of Edmonton-born, Montreal-based musician Peter Sagar. As a follow up to his 2014 debut, In the Shower, Homeshake will release his sophomore effort Midnight Snack this coming fall! This new record explores Sagar's dizzying time on the road as touring guitarist with Mac DeMarco, reflecting on the loneliness that plagued him towards the end of his run, and the longing for life back home in Montreal. When the mounting pressures of this lifestyle began to take a toll, Sagar left the band to focus on his own music and to rebuild the infrastructure of his life. While many of the new tracks meander through anxiety and despair, it is also a witness to a return to safety.1. What'd He Look Like
3. He's Heating Up!
4. I Dont's Wanna
6. Love Is Only A Feeling
7. Under The Sheets
8. Real Love
9. Move This Body
10. Give It To Me
11. Midnight Snack
12. Goodnight$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
BlessedHaving moved all around Canada and settling nowhere, Walter TV are contemporary
nomads. They formed their band in the basements and cottage-like houses of a
beach town outside Vancouver.
After Joe McMurray and Pierce McGarry moved to Montreal, they shared an
apartment with a constant revolving cast of characters. In a space often overpopulated
and reeking of cigarettes, they began recording Blessed. Simon Ankenman
would come by periodically, and with him they would finish most of the recordings
between there and LA. The band's two members, Joe and Pierce, were also busy
touring with Mac DeMarco, acting as his backing band. Mixing and recording
turned into a thing to do on the road.
Although the group prefers tape recordings to digital, they have never been militant.
Always trying to uphold their DIY sensibilities, Walter TV believes the music should
speak for itself. It should come from wherever and whatever is available.1. Candles
3. Paranormal Witness
4. Walter's Kaya
5. Punk Song
6. Surf Metal
8. Thanksgiving (Looper)
9. C'mon Now
10. Tall Mountains$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Strange DreamsThere must be something in the water of Edmonton, Canada
that's gifting it's songwriters with the ability to write sweet and
snug pop melodies. After putting in time with fellow Edmontonian
Mac DeMarco in Makeout Videotape, Alex packed away his
drums to perfect his song writing. Moving back to his mother's
house, he was able to write and record his first solo effort in 2013
with the Time EP.
Alex Calder's sophomore release with Captured Tracks is as
familiar as it is foreign - brining together both infectious melodies
and texture to create tidy, acid-induced pop sequences. Strange
Dreams takes a confident step forward from Calder's previous
release and brings the focus and ambition of Alex's song
writing to all aspects of his music. This record delivers, while still
maintaining the youthful humour that has become his trademark.
Tight rhythm's tie down whirling guitars, sparkling textures bounce
off of timeless melodies, and ambitions beyond humble means
are realized in Alex Calder's latest album. Ghostly vibes find
their way into his songs that possess a certain sense of urgency,
as is unmistakably evident on his lead single, title track Strange
2. Strange Dreams
3. Out of My Head
4. Memory Resolve
5. The Morning
8. No Device
9. Life Purpose (featuring Caitlin Loney)
10. Midlife Holiday
11. Someone$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Living DaylightMichael Rault is a Toronto based singer, guitarist and songwriter fronting his own eponymously named band. A gifted multi-instrumentalist and arranger, his hooky blend of pop rock refracts an evolution of guitar based music through the ages. An era-defying mischievousness defines his synthesis of jukebox R'n'B, and acid psych as refracted through the experience of an adolescence spent idolizing the clever craftsmanship of the Beatles and the wiggy New Orleans textures of Dr. John in equal measure.As a recent transplant from his native Edmonton, the album is a melodically adventurous take on a classic theme - leaving home to make your way in the big city. Produced and recorded in collaboration with Renny Wilson (Mint Records), Living Daylight is a dynamic fusion of the past and future. An inclination for early Rock N' Roll is perverted by a heady production sensibility akin to the warped contemporary psych of Tame Impala. As a document of oddball DIY songwriting Living Daylight fits nicely in the lineage of records created by Ex-Edmontonian contemporaries like Mac Demarco or Sean Nicholas Savage. There must be something in the water .1. All Alone (On My Own)
2. Too Bad So Sad
3. Real Love (Yeah)
4. Hiding From A Heartbreak
5. I Wanna Love You
6. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
8. Lovers Lie
9. Lost Something
10. Too All My Friends$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ImpersonatorWith rich vocals atop quiet looped waves of
white noise, filtered synths and sparse thuds,
Montreal songwriter Devon Welsh aka Majical
Cloudz, is one of 2013's most unique and
essential new voices.
His 2012 Turns Turns Turns EP, an audacious
distillation of Welsh's ideas that brought his
vocals to the fore. "Musically, I wanted to try
saying 'no' to possibilities, and create negative
space in the songs," he says. "To put the
emphasis on the voice and lyrics."
Impersonator brings Welsh's songs into
even sharper focus; its expressive power and
swagger belie the extremely minimal music.
These are intensely lyrical songs about death,
patience, family, friendship, and desire.
Welsh cites Elliott Smith and Arthur Russell as
the two biggest influences on his songwriting.
While Impersonator sounds like neither, Smith's
lyricism is evident, as is Russell's ability to distill
a number of seemingly contradictory stylistic
ideas into a single focused statement.
Though they stand stylistically apart from
other artists in their Montreal scene - which
includes Grimes, Doldrums, Blue Hawaii, Mac
DeMarco, and others - Majical Cloudz are proud
beneficiaries of its camaraderie.1. Impersonator
2. This Is Magic
3. Childhood's End
4. I Do Sing For You
6. Turns Turns Turns
9. Bugs Don't Buzz
10. Notebook$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
This Is SteveThis is Steve, DELICATE STEVE's first new record in 4 years, and first for the ANTI- imprint, is an articulation of his spirit. Joy. Love. Positivity. Perseverance. Meditation. A general communion with the people and world around him. Easy to call such things hackneyed in this cynical time, but in Steve's case, it's very hard to separate the person from the art. It's real. It's pure. This, is Steve. Melody begins with the needle drop on This is Steve, and it's this hallmark as a songwriter on display in tune after tune that has defined all of DELICATE STEVE's work. It's his incredible capacity to write wordless songs that are impossible not to sing along to. He works in no genre, there are no words, but there is never a question as to what he is saying.
DELICATE STEVE (aka Steve Marion) had cornered the status of 'your favorite band's favorite band', as Steve himself became a fixture in and an on-demand collaborator among disparate scenes, players, and bands, making some of the most celebrated and forward thinking music today: Co-signs and work with David Byrne, Dirty Projectors, tUnE-yArDs, Mac DeMarco, Dr. Dog, and most recently, providing guitar on Paul Simon's new record. Likely the only guitarist alive who will cut records with Sondre Lerche and Death Grip's Zach Hill.
Steve produced and played all the instruments on this record. He created it as an introduction from himself to you, and named it appropriately. If there is a question as to who This is Steve's creator is, you'll find it imbued in these ten songs. As he has done from the start, Steve lets the music speak for itself. Without a word.1. Animals
3. Cartoon Rock
10. This Is Steve$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Range AnxietyFormed in Melbourne in late 2008, Twerps enjoyed immediate success, releasing a series of vinyl singles and cassettes on various labels around the world. Their 2011 self-titled debut album was recorded with producer Jack Farley at Head Gap, marking the band's first foray into a "bona fide" recording studio. The release of Twerps led to appearances at SXSW and CMJ and tours with Real Estate, Mac DeMarco, and others. Not wanting to wait until 2015 to unleash new songs on present and future fans, Twerps quickly recorded the delightful Underlay EP, which Pitchfork described as "songs fraught with universal, emotionally familiar sentiments."
And now, Merge brings you Twerps' second full-length album, Range Anxiety. Also recorded with Jack Farley, its title refers to a debilitating fear of running out of gas-both literally and metaphysically. As singer-guitarist Julia McFarlane explains, "The title Range Anxiety is both descriptive and comic. The album at times feels like it was built on uncertainties; some purely practical and some emotional obstacles were present around the start of writing."
Twerps are a very collaborative band, with most songs being written in rehearsal rooms. "Obviously, we write the lyrics separately, but the band is best when everyone is being creative," muses Julia. "Rick and Alex are big voices in the stylistic direction of the band. Rick is a genuinely curious mind and also a vast library of musical reference. As a graphic designer, he has a much more sophisticated ability to interpret and articulate ideas than most people I know, and he has introduced Martin and me to some of Twerps' most coveted influences. Bringing Alex to the band also meant introducing another songwriter. He probably has made ten more records than us collectively and has been a real burst of energy in the band due to his militant
work ethic and enthusiasm for productivity."
Range Anxiety is a worthy showcase of the creativity and vitality Twerps bring to their music. At first listen, nods to The Go-Betweens and the band's beloved Flying Nun influences are clear, but upon closer examination, Twerps expand into a sound uniquely their own.
Twerps are Martin Frawley (guitar, vocals); Rick Milovanovic (bass, vocals,synthesizer); Alex Macfarlane (drums, guitar, vocals); and Julia McFarlane (guitar, vocals, keyboards).1. House Keys
2. I Don't Mind
3. Back to You
5. New Moves
6. White as Snow
8. Simple Feelings
10. Fern Murderers
11. Cheap Education
12. Love at First Sight
13. Empty Road$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Rock And Roll Night Club (Out Of Stock)Mac DeMarco is the anti-thesis to your stereotypical singer-songwriter. Disregarding the seriously somber moments in Rock and Roll Night Club, he refuels throughout with moments whimsical and youthful spontaneity, whilst retaining the endearing and subtle commentaries that exude his familiarity. This is Mac's debut solo EP entitled Rock and Roll Night Club which will ramble into the great unknown guided by Captured Tracks this March, DeMarco's inner Elvis a tow.1. Rock and Roll Night Club
2. 96.7 The Pipe
3. Baby's Wearing Blue Jeans
4. One More Tear To Cry
5. European Vegas
6. 106.2 Breeze FM
7. She's Really All I Need
8. Moving Like Mike
9. Me and Jon, Hanging On
10. I'm a Man$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock