When the then 21-year old Mac DeMarco released his debut Rock and Roll Night Club 12″ just a short while ago in the Spring of 2012, it was accompanied by a barrage of bizarrely funny promo videos, wildly unhinged live performances and a not-so-subtle disparate range of promo photos. The glam facade was purely that, an image that was manufactured for fun to confuse the stiff and compartmentalizing world of indie music journalists. But it wasn’t all a jest, as that EP covered a whole range of music styles that were latent in the ex-Makeout Videotape frontman’s already impressive slough of cassette-only releases. The sincere and warm Mac who sang “Only You” was the same lipstick-wearing sleazoid that crooned “Baby’s Wearing Blue Jeans” and that suited him and his listeners just fine.
Now, all of six months later, Mac is back with his first proper full length, 2. As opposed to RNRNC, 2 is a concerted effort to produce a cohesive work that showcases Mac’s natural ability as a songwriter, singer and producer. With a new arsenal of recording gear, the fidelity has substantially improved without compromising the immediacy and organic quality of his prior releases under any monicker. The results are immediately rewarding, from the warm “Cooking Up Something Good” to the heartfelt “My Kind of Woman.” It’s obvious Mac is presenting himself musically in the most sincere way possible, no matter what happens in his wild videos or live shows. “Freaking out the Neighborhood,” Mac’s apologetic ode to his loved ones about such public behavior, shows that Mac DeMarco is still with us, coming along for the ride, getting everyone else in trouble. Even so, the maturation process of Mac DeMarco, recording artist, is in full swing. He did, after all, turn 22 this April.