Published Dec 28, 2009Vancouver lo-fi garage pop duo Makeout Videotape have been snatched up by Canadian boutique label Unfamiliar Records, the home of such acts as Japandroids, Brasstronaut and No Gold.
"I first saw them play a show at the Astoria [in Vancouver] and was blown away by the performance and depth of music that might otherwise be disregarded as another lo-fi act," says Edo Van Breemen, one of Unfamiliar's managers, in an interview with Exclaim! "Signed them immediately."
Though Makeout Videotape have definite garage influences, Van Breemen would not characterize them that way.
"I think of them as a garage-y sound, but with very sophisticated songwriting. Personally, I think [front-man] Mac [DeMarco] is a bit of a songwriting genius," Van Breemen says. "He thinks it's pop music, [but] he uses a lot of weird jazz chords."
As for DeMarco himself, he would identify his influences more strongly with '60s pop stars.
"I'm a big fan of Jonathan Richman, John Lennon, the Beach Boys, stuff like that. That's what I'm trying to make music like," DeMarco tells Exclaim! "Never turns out that way though."
When Unfamiliar signed Makeout Videotape, DeMarco had already recorded an EP called Heat Wave!, which he had recorded in his Vancouver garage by himself. Though he recorded the EP solo, when performing live, he is joined by drummer Alex Van Flip (aka Alex Calder) or Jenn Twinn Pube (who plays in Puberty), who fills in when Van Flip is unavailable.
Following a tour with Japandroids this fall, Makeout Videotape have already sold out of their 500-copy limited release of Heat Wave! However, a digital version of the EP is still available for free download, which you can get a hold of by emailing [email protected] You can also check out a stream of the Heat Wave! track "Spooky Eyes" below.
As for future releases, the band have a seven-inch in the works that is due out in early February and a full-length LP in the early summer, both of which are to be released on Unfamiliar.
"I already have most of the songs ready for a full-length," DeMarco wrote. "I'm not sure if they'll still be the ones I want to record later on, I'll probably have a bunch of newer ones by the time recording comes along ... I'm gonna try and make the new songs poppier and catchier with fun words too, hopefully ones that don't make me look like a dork."