Rapidfire Reviews: Mac Demarco, Land of Talk, & HOOPS
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May 2017: Rapid Fire Reviews
As the month of May comes to a close, so does another great month for music releases. A lot of the releases in the past month have been awesome. New albums from , Alex G, Born Without Bones, Harmony Woods, Girlpool, Adult Mom, Daddy Issues, Gnarwolves, Pet Symmetry, Cende and a ton more have made May arguably one of the best months of the music year so far. Most of the albums I mentioned have already been written about on this site, so I suggest you check those out. For now, here are three albums that I also enjoyed aside from the aforementioned albums and feel warrant at least one listen.
Mac Demarco – ‘This Old Dog’
This past month, Mac Demarco released what many consider to be his riskiest album to date. Known as the laid back indie prince who puts out music geared towards hanging out and kickin’ it, Demarco went beyond the music this time and wrote a record which put him face to face with his inner demons. In a situation where many artists may struggle with said scenario, Demarco finds a cordial balance between the easygoing, lo-fi demeanour coupled with brooding self-reflection, much of which hinging on the aspects of his absentee father. Tracks such as “My Old Man” and “Watching Him Fade Away” are the best examples of said subject. Demarco’s lyricism appears deceptively simple, which blends nicely with the simplistic acoustic guitar and keyboard sonics that allows Demarco to take something heavy and make it seem so effortless. Now that he’s opened himself up, it’s easier to see how his audience may find this record his most relatable yet.
This Old Dog is out now on Captured Tracks.
Hoops –‘ Routines’
This is the first full length album the Indiana dream-pop outfit didn’t record on a four-track. In all honesty this album is a nice break in style in comparison to all the other new (but obviously still great) music coming out. The album carries hazy, chill wave vibes complemented with smooth, floaty guitar chords. Even though there’s a lack of variation from track to track, the three members all contribute with the writing, singing and instrumentation. Said versatility allows the members to add their own touch in their own experimental way. Though their voices aren’t discernibly obvious, the steadiness of the LP is helped by the simplicity of the lyrical content – love and wasting your life away. The guitar licks in tracks such as “All My Life” and “The Way Luv Is” are reminiscent of bands like The Cure and Beach Fossils. Even though this album isn’t a stroke of genius, it’s still rather enjoyable, easy-listening experience that provides a satisfying break from the norm.
Routines is out now on Fat Possum Records.
Land of Talk – ‘Life After Youth’
This album took me by surprise. Having never been a fan of the band I would never have guessed that I would enjoy it this much, especially since this is their first release since 2010. Led by Elizabeth Powell, Life After Youth carries an extremely personal feel characterized mainly by catharsis and self reflection best exemplified on tracks “This Time” and “Loving”. Wistful melodies carried on by quaint guitar chords, each of the ten songs are engaging as much as they are intimate which helps unfold the idea that the album gets better and better with each listen. Every time I go through the album, I pick up on things that I hadn’t heard or noticed before. Little minute details in song structure and lyricism are what keep me coming back to it and why it was one of my favourite albums to come out this past month.
Life After Youth is out now on Saddle Creek
Steven Lalonde – @StevenLalonde