Five Easy Hot Dogs Album Cover

A little over a decade ago, Mac DeMarco began his rise in the indie scene with his first full-length album “Rock and Roll Night Club.” DeMarco developed laid-back guitar riffs and a signature enchanting sound, which has gradually taken on a sense of melancholy and longing that can only be described as the musical embodiment of growing older and finding one’s place in the world. DeMarco continues this journey of self-discovery in his newest project, released on Jan. 20, “Five Easy Hot Dogs,” which includes a conglomerate of instrumental tracks reminiscent of some of his demo releases of the past ten years.

Uniquely, the production of “Five Easy Hot Dogs” takes on a physical journey of its own. Using portable recording equipment, DeMarco created each song on the album in a location during a solo trip through various parts of the Pacific Northwest, Canada and other assorted cities. As such, each track is named after the name of the city it was produced in. In an interview with Variety, DeMarco said, “I would just drive until I felt tired and I’d stop somewhere … I didn’t even think about what it would sound like, I just hit record.”

Starting off with “Gualala” and “Gualala 2,” “Five Easy Hot Dogs” demonstrates the melodic and borderline ethereal tunes reminiscent of tracks like “Still Beating” and “One More Love Song” from his previous album, “This Old Dog.” These first two tracks begin the record with a slightly mysterious sound and set a precedent for what is to come. 

There is no way to truly see what DeMarco was experiencing when producing this record, but the soft indie sounds in tandem with the location marking each track allow the listener to create a vision of the track in their brains or apply them to the current moment. For example, the chord progressions of “Vancouver 2” create a musical image of the snowy city. However, when separated from the context of the creation of the track, the relaxing nature of the piece could easily create the image of snow falling on a peaceful winter night.  

No track specifically stands out amongst the rest, but as a whole, “Five Easy Hot Dogs” creates a rejuvenating experience for a listener. At times the record can be a bit repetitive, but this gives the perfect opportunity to be contemplative. This album is the perfect piece for anyone looking back on a period in life or looking to close a chapter that has remained open for too long. 

While instrumental music may not be everyone’s cup of tea, any fans of indie rock or of DeMarco’s previous work would appreciate this record.

Overall, I give “Five Easy Hot Dogs” a 7/10.

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