As we began to map out this year’s Bumbershoot coverage, one act kept coming up: Mac Demarco, a Canadian songwriter who’s been on the scene only a scant two years (though scoring an 8.5 on Pitchfork for this year’s excellent Salad Days and maintaining a ubiquitous presence on the festival circuit really helps to light a fire and inspire the ensuing torch-bearing). Whether it’s his boy-next-door mystique or his series of lo-fi slacker anthems, SW pundits pour on the love. Geez, get a room, guys.
Mac DeMarco is the real deal. On his second full-length record, Salad Days, the onetime Montreal-based singer/songwriter emits a toxic vapor of addicting warbles, slicked-up melodies, and hooks you can’t shake. The result is reminiscent of the softer side of Ween, if only brothers Gene and Dean had hooked up with Pavement in its prime. His unpredictable live set shouldn’t be missed. —James Ballinger
Mac DeMarco’s three jangled bedroom recordings are the millennials’ answer to glam rock. There’s a certain Marc Bolan quality to his lazily quipped lyrics, and behind his clownish persona lies not only a superior songwriter, but a spotlight-hogging superstar with talent to burn. He’s got the easy charisma of the class clown—which helped get him on the radar in the digital era—but it’s only a matter of time before he shaves the five-o’clock shadow and ditches the fart jokes for a promising, highly styled career that someday might resemble that of his onetime touring mates Phoenix. —Gwendolyn Elliott
With his goofy, gap-toothed grin and shameless wild behavior (cue MTV’s Weird Vibes interview series), Mac DeMarco has become a genuine artist who is unapologetically himself. On top of his grimy charisma, his music will sweep you away into personal nostalgia, especially on Salad Days, his most honest album yet. See him for yourself and fall in love. —Anna Erickson
Mac DeMarco is an eccentric Canadian indie mastermind whose songwriting skills are rivaled only by his one-of-a-kind personality. He’s the kind of guy who lives like a bum because he doesn’t care about wealth or the material world beyond his massive collection of guitars, drums, and analog recording equipment. He’s got the chain-smoking voice of an angel, and he’s here to serenade you. —Brennan Moring
Mac DeMarco is a Canadian alley rat who probably smells like dumpster piss and stale cigarettes, but that doesn’t change a thing. Mac DeMarco, we can still be friends with benefits. Your stoney DIY music is awesomely full of zero shits to give, and I love you. —Peter Muller
A friend of mine once very aptly described Mac DeMarco as “Jack Johnson for hip kids,” and he didn’t really mean it in a bad way. Slip on “Brother” and honestly tell me you don’t feel infinitely more chillaxed and optimistic about being a human. Mac = peace. —Kelton Sears
Mac DeMarco Fountain Lawn Stage, Sat., 5:15 p.m.
Bumbershoot takes place Aug. 30–Sept. 1 at Seattle Center. $62 for single day pass, $175 for 3-day pass. Pick up Seattle Weekly’s print edition for a full schedule and map. Or go to bumbershoot.org for more information. And be sure to check out all our suggestions for music, film, and visual arts.