Mac DeMarco – ‘This Old Dog’ and ‘My Old Man’

Canadian-born singer songwriter Mac DeMarco has announced his new album ‘This Old Dog’ coming out on the 5th May, succeeding mini-LP ‘Another One’ in 2015.  And what better way to do so than releasing two new songs in a week?

DeMarco has gone in a significantly new direction with this album comparatively to all of his previous releases, however he still holds the same charming and subtly uplifting sound he’s always withheld. ‘My Old Man’ is the opening track to the new album; he reflects on maturity, getting older and what comes with it, noting the line ‘There’s a price tag hanging off of half of all that fun’. It begins with soft synthesiser beats that carry on throughout, paired with a cleaner acoustic resonance to his signature warped guitar riffs he’s known best for. The song, to me, does give the impression that it’s going to build up to something over the course of the song, but holds the same beat and riff throughout. But it’s still no disappointment, and I believe it’s a perfect opening track to a Mac DeMarco album. It gives off a very positive, hopeful feeling which is absolutely how I feel about what the rest of the album has to offer.

The title track holds the same clean acoustic sound with a soft touch of synthesiser cradling the chorus, so it’s safe to say the rest of the album will have a lot more of this from start to finish. The song follows on from ‘My Old Man’ on the track listing for the album, referring to himself as ‘This Old Dog’, reflecting on how he considers himself to have gained the status of a bit of a grandad over recent years – this song undeniably has more of a signature Mac DeMarco feel to it. The shift between his previous releases and the change that this album is inevitably going to possess is still going to be daunting for any big DeMarco fans, but I have high hopes for what’s to come on May 5th, and I believe the development will be a positive one.

JAWS – ‘Simplicity’ Album Review

Following its predecessor ‘Be Slowly’ released in 2014, Birmingham three-piece JAWS are back flaunting a stronger, more refined sound that fans have never seen before to such an extent. Since starting out as a group of 17/18 year old students, their music has matured with them significantly and this album is perfect evidence of that.

The album starts with the heartfelt guitar riff of Just A Boy, giving us the perfect introduction; sucking you in from the very beginning and a song that I would heavily consider to be one of the best opening tracks to an album I’ve heard in the past year. The next track proceeds with the first single released from the album back in 2015 ‘What We Haven’t Got Yet’ – an all-round punchy lo-fi pop track that sticks in your head for hours.

As a whole, ‘Simplicity’ possesses the perfect combination of slow, melodious ballads and stimulating numbers to make it JAWS’ strongest work to date. The album isn’t without a few filler tracks, but they still hold a significance – giving the release the signature dreamy feel that the trio have always held. Key tracks from the album for me are ‘Right In Front Of Me’, ’17’ and ‘On The Sunshine’.

The closing track is vocalist Connor’s favourite piece from the album and I wholeheartedly concur – ‘The Invisible Sleep’ is a zealous anthem that just keeps building up until the very end overflowing with emotion, making you want to listen to ‘Simplicity’ all over again.

Without a shadow of a doubt, JAWS are slowly becoming one of the hottest bands on their scene and they have profoundly matured, and their music is the perfect testament. However they’re still sticking to their roots retaining the youthful feel the band have always possessed.  They have surely showcased themselves as one of the hottest bands to look out for – especially on the Birmingham (or B-Town as it likes to be called) music scene.

Catch them at the following UK dates this year: 

April 25th – Club Academy, Manchester

April 26th – Scala, London

April 27th – The Bullingdon, Oxford

April 29th – O2 Academy, Leicester

April 29th – Live At Leeds Festival