Mac DeMarco us one of those musicians who has been creeping into the public consciousness slowly with each album, an indie underground figure whose laidback sounds have seen him crossing over into mainstream territory following the release of 2017’s album ‘This Old Dog’. Apparently DeMarco uses “cowboy” as an affectionate term for friends so far from sounding a warning tone, ‘Here Comes The Cowboy’, the album, matches its meaning of friendliness and comfort – each track on here has a steady paced warmth to it, not ground-breaking or trying to be too clever, but simply creating a sound that’s so laidback it’s practically napping in the afternoon sun.

‘Nobody’ has soothing subtle guitars, and delicate brass in the background, with Mac’s almost whispered vocal tones complimenting the hushed style, it’s a thing of understated beauty as he sings “There’s no turning back to nobody, there’s no second chance”, feeling the fragility of holding together a precious relationship. ‘Finally Alone’ finds Mac inspired by a sense of adventure and escapism “somewhere mundane, hop on the train see where it goes” he sings with his vocals hitting the high notes before the chorus of “honey, you’re finally alone” kicks in whereas ‘Preoccupied’ is a commentary on the smartphone fuelled world around us with its chorus of “preoccupied, and nobody’s hiding it”, over a calm guitar backing and subtle drums, and although the lyrics often express deeper concerns, they’re all wrapped in his gentle dreamy melodies.

‘Hey Cowgirl’ is possibly the highlight for me, on this album, reminiscent of Neil Young at his gentlest, with its shuffling Americana rhythms and acoustic guitars “will you stay on the farm or will you come on back with me, hey cowgirl give up all of your stars to watch some TV” and it’s a similar thread which runs through ‘All Of Our Yesterdays’ with Mac reminiscing that “all of our yesterdays have gone now, it don’t mean your dream is over.”

In this musical world of Spotify mood playlists often dominating music choices, it’s easy to see how the songs on here will find a greater audience, as they’re destined to end up on many of those “chill” or “relaxing” playlists, which is all well and good if it helps a songwriter reach a wider listener-ship. Yet ‘Here Comes The Cowboy’ is an album which deserves to be heard as a whole album too, apart from the oddball moments such as “Choo Choo” (yes, it’s about a train), as the songs are all linked by their gentility and encompassing folk Americana style – it’s like a musical story which slowly reveals itself with each listen. One for the daydreamers.

Mac DeMarco: Here Comes The Cowboy – Released 10th May 2019 (Mac’s Record Label / Caroline International)

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From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.