Mac Demarco releases new mini LP ‘Salad Days’; fuller, soothing sound

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Mac Demarco doesn’t take himself too seriously and neither should you. 

The Canadian indie rocker, whose current tour features an October stop at Stubbs, has appropriately branded his follow up to 2014’s excellent “Salad Days” as a “mini-LP,” spanning eight new songs that throb with Demarco’s heartache.

“Another One” is a straightforward exhibition of the Pitchfork poster boy’s charming songwriting abilities; virtually every song is a lo-fi earworm that sounds like it came straight out of a 1970’s bin of discount surfer vinyl.

That isn’t to say that “Another One” doesn’t forge any uncharted territory for Demarco. 

The reigning king of slacker rock lives up to the designation with plenty of lazy, meandering guitar riffs throughout, but Demarco incorporates keyboard with some of the guitar work, as in “No Other Heart.”

The result is a fuller sound than his songs usually provide.

“Just to Put Me Down” features Demarco testing his vocal cords to their limits — with mixed results. 

The album does end with an off-kilter instrumental reminiscent of “Jonny’s Odyssey,” the  “Salad Days” closer. As the synthy notes fade and the album reaches its final moments, the soothing sound of waves can be heard as Demarco’s friendly voiceover invites fans to seek him out at his rural New York home; he even lists the address.

Although “Another One” doesn’t reach the emotionally introspective peaks and valleys of its predecessor, perhaps it isn’t meant to. 

Rather than ripping his own heart out again, Demarco is simply welcoming listeners into his Rockaway home on the water for a cup of coffee and some easy conversation.

Three-and-a-half out of five stars.