‘On the Level’ – Mac DeMarco

Mac DeMarco is a man full of juxtapositions. An erratic, maniacal public persona, full of immature jokes and goofy smiles while, on record, he is a contemplative, sensitive soul.

His live shows are raucous, culminating in sweaty, emphatic covers of famous metal songs, but his own tracks are gentle and lackadaisical.

On his new song ‘On The Level’, from his upcoming album This Old Dog, those comparisons could not be starker.

Amongst woozy keys, reminiscent of ‘Chamber Of Reflection’, which seemed like such a departure at the time, DeMarco is taking stock of his life, wondering where it will all end up.

He sings: “On the level, carrying a name, fall until my final day, now who’s there left to blame?” Clearly he is pointing the finger at himself.

Despite the change up from almost out of tune guitar to soft synths, this is a perfectly natural progression for DeMarco, and lyrically we have been here before.

DeMarco may seem like a crass college bro, but in fact he is far more self-aware than he lets on and, like all great artists, he tells us what he really thinks in his music.

Whether it is apologising to his mother for freaking out the neighbourhood or admitting past transgressions on ‘Passing Out Pieces’, DeMarco has always been honest and sincere. He is on the level.

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