12.06.2019

Mac DeMarco’s new album ‘Here Comes The Cowboy’ lacks innovation

Words by Julie Fenwick

It's more of the same from Mac DeMarco.

Nine years since his first release in 2010, Mac DeMarco returns with his fifth studio album, Here Comes The Cowboy. It’s a release that sees DeMarco play to his strengths – at the same time doubling as his downfall; the tracks lulling precariously between his idiosyncratic style yet a lack of innovation. Because of this, the songs are hard to hold onto, devoid of the catchiness of standout tracks on previous albums.

That’s not to say that, separate from one another, his songs stand as odes to the ingenuity we associate with the pepperoni playboy. As a whole, however, the album sells itself short of the vivaciousness we’ve come to know from such releases as 2, Salad Days or Another One.

What Cowboy does show is Mac’s attempt at maturity. It’s slow-paced and, apart from the intermittently upbeat (perhaps ironic?) ‘Choo Choo, stands as a reminder of DeMarco’s painstaking ability to convey a unique poetic prowess just above a quiet whisper, as he does with melancholic slow burner, ‘Nobody’. However, nothing from the album shows off old Mac like ‘All Of Our Yesterdays’ which is reminiscent of his earlier releases; the warbling guitar the unassigned hero.

It’s hard to say whether the maturity conveyed in Here Comes The Cowboy more accurately translates into DeMarco’s inability to re-imagine his own sound for a new album. Perhaps, the downtrodden nostalgia of the majority of its songs echoes DeMarco’s own distaste for the direction of his current music. In some ways this may be accurate, but I do not believe this is wholly the case. As a huge fan of DeMarco’s music, I hope that HCTC is just a steppingstone to better things to come.

6.5