"Passing out pieces of me, don’t you know nothing comes free?"
PREFACE: It’s safe to say I’m not a very good writer; I chose to be involved in a radio station rather than a magazine for a reason. But with that in mind, I will march forward.
The phrase “salad days” refers to someone’s youthful heyday. Your “salad days” are your peak, your prime, the days you smile fondly upon and contemplatively regret why you didn’t do more with them seeing as you had seemingly all the skills in the world. Mac DeMarco’s sophomore album Salad Days seems like a not so subtle wink from the Canadian slack-rocker reminding the world that he is very much aware that he is in his own salad days. A quote I found on Wikipedia when looking up the origin of the phrase “salad days” (it was Shakespeare) says this about salad, “salad is raw… salad is highly flavored.” In what strikes me as not a coincidence at all, so is Mac DeMarco’s newest album.
The album is highly flavored; there’s no question about that. It features more instruments than I have fingers, so I can’t really count them all out. His almost lazy sounding vocals seem to come out slowly from each track and hang in the air like smoke. It’s a hazy sort of vibe with an unquestionable swagger. There is an ease to the way he approaches each song, like he’s been doing it all his life despite the fact he’s only twenty-three.
It’s such calculated cool. It’s style without trying, it’s sexy… It’s Mac DeMarco at his best. It’s fun to listen to because there’s almost a mystique around it. I’m going to try to articulate this: there’s always that one dude who just knows everyone. The guy who somehow runs into people he knows everywhere, the guy who is so nice and easy going that everyone claims they “love that guy.” He’s the guy who can’t finish a sentence because someone is coming up to him trying to say hello at the party. You know he’ll recognize you and say hello, yet somehow when he does it makes your night. He’s a genuine guy, real nice and humble, deserving of all his success. You’re not jealous of him because he’s too nice to possibly envy. For that dude, life just seems easy. Salad Days would be that guy. It’s just smooth, likable, and seems easy. It has a swagger. And that's a good thing.