I have a feeling that 95 percent of Mac DeMarco fans weren't aware of the first time he played in Missoula, which was four years ago to a few lucky listeners in the back of the tiny VFW. Since then, the nicotine-stained millennial's fanbase has blown up as he's captured hearts and minds with a few masterpiece releases: the 2012 album 2 and 2014's Salad Days. Fellow Canadian Neil Young wrote "my life's an open book," and DeMarco follows suit with his transparent lyrics about life and love. He also has an uncommon connection to fans, staging constant pre-concert meet-and-greets and publicizing his address at the end of his 2015 mini-LP, Another One, encouraging fans to stop by for a cup of coffee.
On his latest, This Old Dog, DeMarco delivers another glimpse into his diary. This fantastic, slow-burning, intimate album is dominated by acoustic guitars, synthesizers, retro drum machines and breezily minimal arrangements. It's an easy listen, marked by a youthful, Jonathan Richman-goes-yacht-rock vibe. Topically, DeMarco isn't trying to change the world. He's just offering copious amounts of advice through his songs and reminding us that unconditional love is a damn good thing. The world is a better place with this scruffy young man playing in it.
Mac DeMarco plays the Wilma Fri., Sept. 15, at 8 PM. Sold out.