Mac DeMarco releases his new album This Old Dog this week on Royal Mountain/Captured Tracks after teasing it steadily in recent months.
He started with a double feature of "My Old Man" and "This Old Dog," then self-directed a breezy music video for the title track, and most recently dropped the trippy single "On the Level." He also debuted another couple songs during a performance on L.A.'s KCRW.
The upcoming record is DeMarco's first full-length release since 2014's Salad Days, and his first new material since 2015's mini-album Another One. In the time between, DeMarco says he took a lot more time to himself at his new home in Los Angeles and had an even more relaxed approach to songwriting than on previous efforts.
"When I started writing a lot of the songs, it wasn't like I sat down and said 'Okay, I'm going to write another album,'" he tells Exclaim! "I was just writing songs … tootin' around my house."
DeMarco has a different style this time around, but what isn't different is the classic, laid-back feel that fans have come to love. Since his picture might as well be in the dictionary next to the word "chill," we asked for his three best pieces of life advice to help you live your best self.
1. Brush your teeth. (No, seriously.)
This one's pretty basic, but dental hygiene isn't to be taken lightly. "You've gotta do it, or else they're gonna fall out," he says. How many times a day? "You should probably do it twice. That's what I've been told as a kid." But that's not all. "Flossing is also very important. That's one thing that I slack on more than the brushing but hey, you've gotta keep those gums healthy," he says. "If you haven't flossed and you start, you're gonna be bleeding all over and it's gonna hurt, but it's worth it."
2. Call your mom.
"Your mother is one of the most important people in anybody's life. It's where you came from. It's just important to give some love to your mother." (Mac is known to have a close relationship with his mother Agnes, who's actually been quite involved in her son's life as a musician — introducing him onstage, appearing in interviews and even keeping up with his fans.) How often should you call your mom? "It depends on the relationship… however much you need to do," DeMarco says. "Some moms are probably OK with once a week, or once a month. But it depends on you, too. Maybe you're too afraid to fall asleep and you've gotta call your mom every night. It's all OK. It's no big deal."
3. Keep it real.
This is pretty much Mac DeMarco's motto, since he says it all the time. But what does it mean? "Be true to yourself, be true to your friends, love yourself. No baloney," he says. "Be kind. Just be real. Because if you don't, you're going to drive yourself crazy."
Mac DeMarco is currently on the cover of the May issue of Exclaim! You can read the cover story here. Pick up This Old Dog on silver vinyl here.