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Album Review: Mac DeMarco - Five Easy Hot Dogs

Mac's latest record is for breezy Sunday mornings and reflecting on journeys past.

By Sean Lawrenson, First Year English

On paper, the latest musical foray from Mac DeMarco isn’t exactly what you would have in mind. Following on from his 2019 record Here comes the Cowboy, DeMarco’s instrumental only project is, well, interesting.

The concept for the album, to record each of the instrumentals in their corresponding city is an unusual one, with DeMarco himself saying it was “kind of like being on tour, except there weren’t any shows, and I’d just be burning money”. The result of this, however, are fourteen songs beautifully encompassing the journey DeMarco went on.

Five Easy Hot Dogs Album Cover | Pitch Perfect PR

From the outset, you can just tell this is a Mac DeMarco record. The instant recognisable nature of the guitar licks have gone nowhere. Whilst at times it does feel like the record may have benefitted from some form of vocality to really draw out the impressiveness of the instrumentals, that is perhaps the only marginal criticism I can have.

Asides from that, each of the songs feels ever so slightly unique to the next. Listening to ‘Vancouver’ and then ‘Vancouver 2’, it was interesting to see the journey DeMarco went on, his journey through that city essentially unfolding musically before me. It’s almost as if you are tracking multiple strands of states of mind as you travel with him on this journey. From the elements of brass instruments and maracas, there is an undeniable sense of a strange contrast in the record.

As with all his previous records, this suits a particular time and place. This isn’t a record you should listen to before going on a night out, it is your Sunday Morning record, which is perhaps the best way to sum up the album from a listening point of view. It is a record you find easy to fall into, before you know it all thirty-four minutes have gone and Spotify’s back on ‘Gualala’ as round two comes calling.

Asides from the fact that the music itself is composed to a very high standard, the records worth your time for a few simple reasons. For starters, if you are a Mac DeMarco fan, you’ll want to listen simply for seeing a progression of sorts, but it also feels incredibly accessible to people who may never have come across his music before.

The relaxed nature of the songs makes the album ideal for anyone in need of relaxation. It is an album to fall asleep to, an album to wake up with, Mac DeMarco’s latest project shines in so many lights and leaves you wanting more.

Featured Image: Kiera McNally

Have you listened to Five Easy Hot Dogs?