Mac DeMarco treads old territory on Here Comes The Cowboy

Here Comes the CowboyThose who heard the title of Mac DeMarco's new album Here Comes The Cowboy and thought of a swaggering, gutsy collection of tracks will be left feeling underwhelmed by his latest offering.

The sixth studio release unfolds at rocking chair pace. Like the kind of lonely storyteller who holds the bar company well until dawn, this album is full of sentimentality and not many surprises. "All those days are over now," is the wistful reprise of "Little Dogs March", and it sticks in DeMarco’s throat right until the album’s last yesterday and goodbye. There are love songs, take-heed tales and glassy-eyed recollections; enough to turn memory lane into mush.

There’s also a lacklustre leap into twanging, strutting funk. "Choo Choo" marks the album’s midway point, and breaks into a giddy-up that ends up feeling out-of-breath. It’s the kind of goofy joke that DeMarco is well known for, but this time it’s gone stale.

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For all its aimlessness Here Comes The Cowboy does have some charming moments, and it’s difficult not to be won over by them. "Nobody", the album’s lead single, is soft and earnest - an ode to feeling lost in the spotlight. Reigning master of the mellow, even DeMarco’s sad songs never feel depressing. "Nobody" has the same candid self-reflection that surfaced on This Old Dog, reappearing on this track to gently poke holes in the songwriter’s prankster facade.

"Cowboy is a term of endearment to me," DeMarco explains in reference to the album’s title. "K", a straightforward love song, feels right at home in this setting, and home isn't somewhere Mac is straying too far from for now. He plays nearly every instrument on the album, a characteristic recording technique that gives his albums an unmistakable home studio vibe. Here Comes The Cowboy is no exception to this rule. If DeMarco disappoints our desire for something new, he stays true to his dawdling, lovesick old self. Despite sometimes sliding towards the docile, Here Comes The Cowboy still manages to touch a soft spot.

Release: 10th May 2019, Mac's Record Label

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