DeMarco in 2017
|Vernor Winfield MacBriare Smith IV|
April 30, 1990 |
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada
|Origin||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada|
McBriare Samuel Lanyon "Mac" DeMarco (born Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV, April 30, 1990) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. DeMarco has released three full-length studio albums, 2 (2012), Salad Days (2014), and This Old Dog (2017), as well as two mini-LPs: his debut Rock and Roll Night Club (2012) and Another One (2015). His style of music has been described as "blue wave" and "slacker rock", or by DeMarco himself "jizz jazz".
DeMarco was born in Duncan, British Columbia, and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. During high school he was in several bands, including indie rock band the Meat Cleavers, alternative R&B group the Sound of Love and post-punk band Outdoor Miners (named after a song by English rock band Wire). His great-grandfather is Vernor Smith, Alberta's former Minister of Railways and Telephones, for whom DeMarco was named.; his grandfather (also named Vernor Winfield MacBriare Smith) was a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. His mother later changed his name to McBriare Samuel Lanyon DeMarco.
After graduating from Strathcona High School in Edmonton in 2008, he became a backing musician. After that, he moved to Vancouver. Living in the Killarney neighbourhood, he released a self-produced album, Heat Wave, as a part of the garage-noise/punk rock project Makeout Videotape in 2009. The album sold out its 500-unit run. DeMarco worked on "psychedelic" video projects during this time. He was joined by Alex Calder and Jen Clement, signed to Unfamiliar Records, and toured with Vancouver band Japandroids in 2009. In 2011, DeMarco moved from Vancouver to Montreal to begin recording as a solo artist. Failing to find work as a musician, he participated in medical experiments for money and worked on a road paving crew. On January 9, 2012, record label Captured Tracks announced the signing of DeMarco. In early 2012, he released a mini-LP titled Rock and Roll Night Club. The four-track-recorded album features skits and slowed-down vocals. It impressed his new label enough that they agreed to release a full-length follow-up album. This release, entitled 2, was received well by critics, garnering a "Best New Music" designation from Pitchfork. One of his songs, "Moving Like Mike", was licensed by U.S. retail outlet Target for a commercial.
On January 21, 2014, DeMarco announced the release of his upcoming second album, Salad Days, along with debuting the lead single "Passing Out Pieces," The record was released on April 1, 2014, and again received the "Best New Music" designation from Pitchfork. It was a shortlisted nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize. Captured Tracks has announced a subscription series called "The Wonderful World of Mac DeMarco 7" Club Vol. 1". Subscribers will receive two 7" records every six to eight weeks containing various recordings by DeMarco.
DeMarco made his first talk show appearance (and second TV appearance after The Eric Andre Show) when he performed the song "Let Her Go" on Conan on March 30, 2015. On April 22, 2015, DeMarco announced the release of an upcoming mini album titled Another One, which was released on August 7, 2015, in addition to a video depicting the making of Another One. DeMarco describes the mini album to be a collection of love songs, "It's just kind of like every angle of how somebody might feel if they're having strange feelings in their chest." On May 11, 2015, Captured Tracks released the first single of Another One, titled "The Way You'd Love Her".Another One received a generally favourable response from music critics, scoring 75/100 on Metacritic. Still in Rock has ranked this LP as the third best of 2015.
On July 8, 2015, DeMarco released a 9-track instrumental album titled Some Other Ones and called it a "BBQ soundtrack". Later that evening, he hosted a listening party in New York City (where DeMarco was based) for fans to hear Another One, where they could get free hot dogs if they donated to a food bank.
In an interview with Mr. Wavvy released on August 19, 2015, DeMarco suggested that he would release Makeout Videotape material on vinyl in the near future.
DeMarco appeared on the "Hot Ones" YouTube show on February 23, 2017.
On October 10, 2017, DeMarco appeared on Charlie Rose, in which the two discussed the new album, as well as DeMarco's relationship with his father. Acting as bookends to the interview, DeMarco performed acoustic versions of This Old Dog, as well as Still Together.
DeMarco's style is recognizable via its use of flat drums, chorus and vibrato effects on the guitar and a generally lazy atmosphere a la soft rock records, muted and low frequency bass guitars. He has also mentioned Shuggie Otis, Black Sabbath, Jonathan Richman and Weezer as favourite artists. His guitar-based compositions have moved from glam-inspired works to what reviewers describe as "off-kilter pop" or "folk rock". DeMarco has self identified his style as "jizz jazz," going as far as naming his apartment studio Jizz Jazz Studios, as mentioned in a documentary starring himself, Pepperoni Playboy.
DeMarco is known for using vintage equipment and gear for his music. He mainly played on a $30 Teisco electric guitar that was already in poor condition and stopped playing it live since it would often break apart. He additionally used Fender guitars such as a 1970s Stratocaster, a 1960s Mustang and a HSS Shawbucker Stratocaster, in which his live band were given 11 copies as a result of an endorsement deal with Fender. His bass guitar mainly used for recording is a Teisco/Stagg bass. He has used vintage Japanese synthesizers, including a Yamaha DX7 and a Korg Microsampler. Additional models included a Rhodes piano, a Moog Realistic MG-1, a Prophet 5, a Roland Juno 60, JX-3P, and a Yamaha DX100. Amplifiers included a Roland JC-120, a 60-watt Fender Twin combo amp, and both a small Fender Vibro-Champ and a large Roland KC-550; DeMarco used them during stage performances by hooking his keyboards with the vibro-champ amplifier which was linked to the KC-550. Effect pedals used are a MXR Micro-Amp, a Boss CE-3 Chorus, TU-3 tuner, a Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb and a EHX Polyphonic Octave Generator. He records his music on reel-to-reel tape recorders, such as a Fostex A-8, a Tascam 334, an Alesis Micro Limiter and a Roland Space Echo RE-201. He however recorded his album This Old Dog on a MacBook with an Apogee Quartet interface. He uses a Neumann U87 condenser mic, a Hoyer R-121 ribbon mic, and a four channel Neve Portico preamp strip with his Ableton setup. DeMarco also uses a Roland CR-78 drum machine for demos.
Extended plays (EPs)