Mac DeMarco’s “Nobody” is a continued venture into the singer-songwriter realm, providing a lovely and distinguished sound that touches upon DeMarco’s personal dealings with fame and its cost.
There was a dynamic shift in Mac DeMarco’s sound with 2017’s This Old Dog. The dreamy pop-rock melodies from previous albums were done away with in favor of smoother, guitar-centered ballads that focused heavily on compositional arrangements, introspection, and growth. With “Nobody,” DeMarco continues in that direction, making for a track that is simple, soft, and utterly stunning.
Stream: “Nobody” – Mac DeMarco
These quiet, dainty plucks of the guitar introduce this song of distorted images and unchangeable perceptions. This melody carries on throughout the track, allowing for a constant stream of peace. Muffled horns and tame percussion beats that swell in the background give the track a fresh bit of sonic diversity. The song as a whole does a lot with so little, and most of that stems from DeMarco’s musical efficiency.
I’m a preacher
A done decision
Who’s lost its vision
It can be easy at times to write him off as someone who is strategic in his productions, but “Nobody” shows the devotion he carries for his craft. The song carries a distinguished sound, one that shows a mastery of recording and producing as well as overall songwriting proficiency. Everything has its place; each beat, instrumentation shift, and melody serves their purpose with a palpable fervor. This extends into his lyricism as well, making a straightforward story into one that is filled to the brim with emotion and that is tinged with sadness.
Let it go
Reel it in
For the creature
As the first chorus hits, DeMarco decries that there is no turning back, that the creature on the television is there for all to see. Normalcy is an impossible dream for him at this point – no way for him to reset his image and simply become nobody. The honesty and vulnerability present on the track is admirable but also heartbreaking. There are no second chances anymore, no other ways to continue living than through the lens of people peering in through the small windows of his life, forming their own ideas and perceptions on who he is and who he should be.
I’m a fixture
A split decision
A pretty picture
With the accompanying music video, DeMarco plays the creature referenced in the song, manifesting all of the opinions people have about him and turning himself into some sort of human-lizard hybrid. It’s humorous in a way and also gives viewers a nice touch of that signature Mac DeMarco weirdness with the more forlorn happenings of the track.
Despite the slow-paced nature of “Nobody,” no attention is lost while it plays. Its simplicity is its strength, making it an intoxicating ballad that shines brilliantly. The effectiveness of the stark production shows how talented DeMarco truly is and how knowledgeable he is on musicality and production. It’s an emotive and heat-filled experience, and if listeners can expect this same level of attention to detail and refinement on the rest of the album, they’ll be in for one 2019’s greatest albums.
Here Comes the Cowboy releases May 10 via Mac’s Record Label.
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📸 © Christine Lai