Mac Demarco blends synth and soul with ‘On the Level’

In Single Reviews by Pablo Doyle

Mac Demarco serves up a groovy final taster track ahead of new record ‘This Old Dog’, out May 5th.

On the Level‘ is Mr.Demarco’s 3rd single for his upcoming album ‘This Old Dog’. In similar vein to his previous 2 singles, the track is incredibly simple. Whack 4 chords on a synth, play 2 notes alternatively as a lead, sing “on the level” repeatedly and voila – a single. This is not by any means a criticism. Making a simple and repetitive song have as much impact as this song does, isn’t as easy as it sounds. Even Mac stated recently in an interview that “the album makes much more sense as a whole, rather than single, single, single.”

‘On the Level’ gives us the feeling that the Canadian singer-songwriter hasn’t moved on much from his previous album’s concept; ‘Another One’ was a love album – a highly emotional one at that. And while this single isn’t a love song, it still carries a similar feeling of honesty and sentiment. The song touches upon his difficult relationship with his dad (you can imagine a 12-year-old Mac wouldn’t be the easiest kid to look after). And while he’s touched upon this topic in previous songs like ‘Freaking Out The Neighbourhood’, this single gives out a whole new vibe and an insight into his development both as a person and a musician.

We’ve heard the happy-go-lucky Mac, we’ve heard the romantic Mac and now we’re hearing the soulful Mac. He’s practically becoming a soul singer in dungarees and worn out converse. The single is great in its own ways and we can only hope the rest of the album is on the same level.

Written by Pablo Doyle