Mac DeMarco returns – or does he?

On 8th May Toronto-born artist Mac DeMarco released two new singles via Youtube, in a video which he dubbed ‘Met Gala – Red Carpet 7 inch’, jokingly claiming that they were recorded on the red carpet itself. After listening to the two songs titled ‘She’s My Sweet’ and ‘Fuck the Toronto Raptors’, the link to the Met Gala occurring in New York on May 7th remains tenuous.

‘She’s My Sweet’ already sets quite a different tone in contrast with DeMarco’s latest album This Old Dog, as the song is much more autotuned and less dreamy than titles like ‘Still Beating’ or ‘My Old Man’. A much more clearly R&B vibe is present, with DeMarco repeating the line ‘motherfuckin’ baby she’s my sweet’ over and over again. In ‘Fuck the Toronto Raptors’, DeMarco is supposedly capturing the feelings of Toronto’s basketball fans, and their response to the team’s loss in NBA playoffs on March 7 to Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. In it, a grumpy Mac keeps repeating the line of the title, underlined by a moody bass line. Neither song has much of a clear shape, and the repetitive bass lines make them seem to melt into each other, despite the very different subject matter. Overall these new titles share the similar laid-back vibe we’ve become accustomed to with DeMarco’s music, but perhaps are a little less imaginative. There is less of a sense of a story being told, the light airiness and blissful feel seems to have disappeared – where has Mac DeMarco’s soul-soothing voice gone? – and left the way for something moodier and sharper.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it essentially sounds as if DeMarco has just recorded his random mumblings, which in a way presents some sense of continuity with the spontaneous nature of his previous recordings. Are these songs a joke? Are they precursors to a new album or emblematic of a sharp change in DeMarco’s style? Who knows: he is famous for enjoying keeping fans on their toes. Last April he shared a four-minute clip of a cat named Pickles eating, with jazzy music playing in the background. So really who knows what is going on inside his head at any time – and that unpredictable nature is why we love him, really. ‘She’s My Sweet’ and ‘Fuck the Toronto Raptors’ are possibly the strangest songs I have ever heard – and I cannot wait to see what comes next.