This week’s 404 is exploring the weird and wonderful work of Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV, otherwise known as Mac DeMarco. He’s one of Canada’s top emerging artists. He’s an incredibly unique musician with a sound that makes you just want to go for a bike ride. And honestly, he’s just an overall good dude. It’s time to throw Mac under the 404 spotlight to give some insight on why this guy is just so super cool.
Time to learn a little bit about Mac!
He’s lived in Duncan (BC), Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal and New York.
This guy moves around more than Carmen Sandiego! Mac was born in Duncan, BC. He grew up in Edmonton. Moved to Vancouver after high school to pursue music, but ended up working construction until all the pieces fell together in 2012. That’s when he released the album, Rock and Roll Night Club. It was so successful, Mac made the move to Montreal to work closer with his record label. The time in Montreal was great, but after releasing Salad Days in 2013, he had amassed enough of a following to break into the U.S market. His last move came in 2014, when he settled in the indie-mecca New York borough, Brooklyn. Cool fact: If you listen to his song My House by the Water, He actually gives you his address and invites you over for a cup of coffee.
He’s a time-traveler!
Just kidding. But honestly, just watch this video! If you were to stumble across this without any inkling of context, it would honestly seem like somebody stumbled across a dusty VHS at a garage-sale and decided to throw it on youtube. But that’s the style that sets him apart from an indie scene that’s slowly drifted into the hi-def.. Mac’s work is a time-piece that’s resurrected a homespun, slacker-centric movement in the music industry. In his own words “I live like a scumbag, but it’s cheap.” Doesn’t get more slacker than that!
Mac has a rich musical taste.
Here’s a video that shows not only his pop-culture literacy, but also his love of weird music in general. He goes through the Amoeba Record Store and shares some of his favourite albums/artists. Some of his picks include The Doobie Brothers, Dirty Beaches, Van Dyke Parks and Prince. He talks about how he used inspiration from Bruce Springsteen’s The River, for the album artwork of his own album 2. He also talks about what he loves watching. The TV show Twin Peaks and the animated film, Wizards are highlighted. He’s really into somewhat older stuff circa 1970 – 1999 and considering his artistic aesthetic, it’s not at all surprising. Getting an inside look on the media that influences artists can be an interesting way to see the creative connections between the source material and interpretations created afterwards.
Mac’s an interesting figure-head in the Canadian music industry right now. He released his newest album Another One in 2015 and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Indie has established itself as one of the broadest genres in music today and Mac has played a big part by inspiring new sub-genres, music video visuals and displaying a unique creative attitude towards putting out new content. His charmingly absurd behaviour has paved the way for a new generation of musical weirdos. Thanks Mac!
Photo Credits to Exclaim and Pitchfork
Video Credits to Amoeba Music, Captured Tracks and Youtube