Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Blue Boy” by Mac DeMarco from the 2014 album Salad Days on Captured Tracks.
Mac DeMarco returned to the spotlight last week with the release of new record Salad Days. The collection of tunes therein finds the one of a kind Canadian indie rock personality musing on the change of the guard, growing older and learning to take responsibility for his actions where he can. For an eccentric singer who made a name for himself through delirious stage antics, songs about smoking Viceroys, freaking out the neighborhood, and amateur hockey, the sudden turn towards a serious look at the future seemed surprising at first. But Mac’s move past his salad days has only proved to make him a better songwriter with a warmer and more jovial sound than ever. Salad Days is the best work he’s put together so far.
After the conceptual title track fades, “Blue Boy” comes jangling in to brighten up the record like a golden ray of sunlight. Easily one of the catchiest and sweetest tracks on the record, “Blue Boy” finds Mac giving a comforting pat on the back to a friend in need of a hug. Worry conflicts his mind at every turn, but the relaxed guitars and sultry groove Mac puts forward help remind him (and us) that there’s no reason to act tough and fight it. Sometimes, that’s just the way it goes, and you have to roll with the punches as they come. “Blue Boy” barely clocks over two minutes, giving just enough of a pick-me-up to matter, but not enough to sink into cheese-ball territory. In a short and brilliant flash of light, DeMarco gives us a track that balances just the right amount of nostalgia, melancholy, encouragement, and fun. “Blue Boy” is a great summer track that worms its way into your heart within seconds.
Mac DeMarco is playing at Webster Hall in NYC tomorrow (April 9th) and traveling south for the rest of the month. Check out his his artist page on Captured Tracks to find out more dates. He was set to play Sasquatch! during the 4th of July weekend, but due to cancellation, we are still waiting to see if a new DeMarco date in Seattle gets posted. You can also check back on his Facebook page for future updates. For now, here’s Mac DeMarco covering Weezer’s “Undone — The Sweater Song” for the A.V. Club’s Undercover series: