Mac DeMarco - 'Five Easy Hot Dogs'

6/10

Despite a confident run of releases throughout the 2010s, Mac DeMarco stepped away from trying to unveil new music during the pandemic. Instead taking the time to reflect on what he had achieved, and once restrictions were lifted, went out on the road to tour once again. But during a run of shows in early 2022, DeMarco thought of the perfect way to write and record his next album. He would drive north from his Californian home and not return until the record was complete. His time venturing across the Pacific North West would become his fifth studio album 'Five Easy Hot Dogs', an instrumental release that feels just as off-the-cuff as all of his material to date.

With each track named after the town or city it was conceived in, 'Five Easy Hot Dogs' aims to bring the listener along for this journey DeMarco set himself. Throughout this sprawling fourteen-track collection, we are greeted with a sweet and alluring array of gems that match his own laid-back and easygoing spirit. But despite its warm and shimmering aesthetic, it does feel a little untethered and almost directionless in its approach. The time restraint he put on himself to complete this new work clearly had an impact on the depth he explored each track, making for a sometimes forgettable listen.

Although it may not stand up with the quality of his earlier work, 'Five Easy Hot Dogs' certainly makes for a fascinating insight into his own model of writing new music. It may struggle to find a core sound to call its own, but makes for a tender experience from an artist that can always sweep us off our feet.

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