Mac DeMarco’s “Salad Days” are over, apparently. The singer-songwriter’s outlook on his latest record is a significant shift from that of his 2014 breakout release. Compared to 2015’s Another One, This Old Dog holds onto the melancholy of its predecessor, but does away with most of DeMarco’s happy-go-lucky guitar playing.
Focusing on more grounded folk melodies, DeMarco’s latest record gives us a portrait of the indie poster boy without the façade of the cheerful, carefree melodies of his previous releases. The use of more reverb-heavy recording and the addition of synths as primary instruments effectively accompanies narratives which have grown increasingly unsure of themselves.
Perhaps less appealing than his early releases due to its melancholy, This Old Dog quietly revels in more emotional vulnerability than DeMarco has allowed himself up until now. Because of this, the tracks on the record achieve a poignancy that the singer-songwriter’s previous releases failed to reach.
“Dreams From Yesterday” ought to make a good ambassador to the record for those not sure where to start.