Don’t let Mac DeMarco’s fun but wild on-stage/off-stage antics distract you from his otherwise lovely studio albums, which see the Canadian artist in an elusive state of love and tenderness. It’s his honest songwriting approach melded with simplistic, VHS-era jangle-pop jams that has earned him his place in the spotlight as an artist on the rise, and he produced what was easily one of last year’s best albums. A year later he continues to ride this wave of studio creativity with his cheekily and oh-so-Mac-DeMarco titled effort Another One.

But Another One isn’t exactly a new studio album. It’s being dubbed as a “mini-LP” that consists of eight fully produced new songs adding up to about 23 minutes — not entirely a matter of “less is more” and/or not much shorter than any of his standard full-length records.

Mac DeMarco Another One Album Cover Art

Why it isn’t being considered an “EP” might just be a matter of semantics, yet that’s exactly how Another One operates: an extra set of Mac tunes that are more or less spawned from the same web as his previous effort and released between studio albums, gearing us up for a full-fledged LP that might bear thematic weight or some semblance of concept.

And you know what? That’s totally okay. Another One is a breezy, light-hearted collection of songs that only extends Mac’s stay in your library and, all things considered, shortens the length of time fans will have to wait for his next album (seems like it’s been forever already).

The interesting thing about Mac’s music is his ability to have such focus amidst relaxed, more lackadaisical rhythms, a talent that is prominently displayed in Another One’s title track. The songwriting on this mini-LP also features a perkier spirit that wasn’t entirely apparent on Salad Days, beginning with the excellent “No Other Heart” and ending with the equally pleasurable “I’ve Been Waiting For Her.” Even with its overall chilled-out tone and themes of unattainable love, however, Another One isn’t really sure what its motives are other than to satisfy DeMarco himself by serving as an output for more creativity.

The last track, “My House At The Water,” features the sound of gentle waves crashing along the shore of what is presumed to be DeMarco’s house off in one of New York’s bays, with Mac revealing his address so fans could swing on by and have a cup of coffee. This doesn’t come across as DeMarco being lonely and singing songs to get us over there, but more like he yearns for the freedom to record on his own, whenever he wants, and wherever he wants, about the topics he wants. Another One displays DeMarco’s amusement at the thought and continues his creative journey, and he invites us to to join him in that moreso than at his physical home.

Could I have held out a little longer for a proper studio recording instead of a mini-LP that can’t entirely shake off the feeling that it’s just a collection of songs in the interim? Sure, but I’ll take more Mac DeMarco in any fashion at any time any day of the week. He’s still riding a creative high off an LP that’s incredibly worthy of your attention, and his brand of light-hearted, chill-out tunes has now become so distinct that it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Just think of Another One as an EP, and you’ll be perfectly fine.

Another One is available on Captured Tracks tomorrow, August 7th.

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Mac DeMarco
Captured Tracks