Mac DeMarco is known for his mischievous rock sound that has not yet crossed into the mainstream. The 29-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter is back at it again with his sixth full-length studio album, Here Comes the Cowboy, which has the breezy, relaxing sound his fans know and love.
In 2017, DeMarco released This Old Dog, which leans on the serious side of music, discussing topics like aging and family while still giving audiences the laid-back, easygoing tone he’s known for. However, Here Comes the Cowboy goes back to DeMarco’s Salad Days type of sound, with more mellow ideals revolving around the simple and unburdening life of a cowboy.
The mood of the album is quiet and reflective, revolving around the idea of escaping to a simpler life like a cowboy, as shown in songs like “Hey Cowgirl” and “Finally Alone.” The album utilizes a lot of DeMarco’s plucky guitar playing, synths and a unique style of indie-rock that is attempted but unmatched by his competitors. Not to mention DeMarco’s vocals, which are a combination of gritty and soothing that captivate the audience's attention from the first lyric.
DeMarco has an incredible sense of humor, which he is quick to remind audiences of through his song “Choo Choo.” The track is a playful, exciting song complete with a hidden message, incredible dissonance in the chords and a funky, jazzy style of instrumentation. However, what seems like a playful song also dives into the idea that what once seemed like the simple train ride to being a successful musician also ended up bringing DeMarco massive amounts of depression. DeMarco is using a simple, funny way to tackle a serious issue, instead of diving head-on into the issues like he did in This Old Dog.
Of course it wouldn’t be a DeMarco album without some romantic pieces, and this is shown in his songs “K” and “Heart To Heart.” “K” is a beautiful tribute to his girlfriend, Kiera McNally, where he tells her, “K, anytime it feels as though my love has gone away, K, settle down, turn around and take this song, and let it play.” DeMarco also uses “Heart To Heart” as a seemingly simple love song but a deeper look shows the song is about rapper Mac Miller, who died in September 2018. DeMarco said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, “We had this strange history, and then we became really close, and I was going over to his place multiple times a week up until the point that he passed away.”
A lot of artists have been fixated on the country-infused theme of yeehaw for their music, and when DeMarco announced the title of his album, it seemed he was following that trend. However, the album possesses no cowboy themes really at all, aside from an escapist lifestyle. It’s all about focusing on where the grass is greener and those types of ideals. DeMarco says, “I like to think of this record as kind of the interpretation of the idea of the cowboy from somebody who knows absolutely nothing about cowboys.”
Overall, the album is another hit from DeMarco. His instrumentation, gorgeous vocals and meaningful messages behind the music exhibit the creativity of a trend-setter. Here Comes the Cowboy brings so much to the table, and it’ll be almost impossible for audiences not to enjoy it.