Vernor Winfield Macbriare Smith IV aka Mac Daddy aka Big Pimp aka Dave Fuck aka Mac DeMarco has experienced an absolutely meteoric rise over the past several years. A back catalogue of old material, a hilariously off-the-wall debut and two acclaimed LPs later, DeMarco and his off-kilter brand of pop, dubbed "jizz jazz," have become top draws at the top of most indie circuits.

And with a mini-LP entitled Another One arriving soon, many more may find themselves encountering this cartoonish figure, the gap-toothed madman behind some of the decade's most charming songs. So from the early days as a part of Makeout Videotape all the way up to present day, with some of his influences tossed in for good measure, here is a guide to all things DeMarco.

'Island Groovies'

Released during his formative years with the project Makeout Videotape, 'Island Groovies' remains one of the highest marks in DeMarco's extensive discography. Distributed in a clean, sunny mix on 2010's Ying Yang, as well as a massively blown out version on Eyeballing from the same year, 'Island Groovies' showcases all of the abilities that have made DeMarco such a popular figure. The plodding drums of Alex Calder and a thumping bass line make for an exceptional supporting cast to Mac's warm vocal delivery and enormously catchy guitar riff. The lyrics are oftentimes incomprehensible, but they are always somehow charming. DeMarco has not played this song in sometime but he would be smart to bring it back. It is intoxicating in every sense and you will quickly find it worming itself into your brain.

'Rock And Roll Night Club'

For his first solo release, DeMarco really decided to get weird with it. The title track for Rock And Roll Night Club features the gap-toothed frontman adopting an Elvis-type drawl for an absurd sendup of glam rock. "Boogie woogie woman," he croons, "looking my way." It is sleaze and cheese melted together with such nonchalance that one cannot help but be entranced. While it is far from the most serious music in his catalogue, there are few better places to look for how DeMarco melds musical talent and comedic prowess occasionally.

'She's Really All I Need'

Electing to drop the ridiculous low vocals for this out of tune, severely off-kilter pop vocals, DeMarco gives listeners a taste of the type of music that would eventually vault him to stardom on 'She's Really All I Need.' The warbly guitars, left-of-centre melodies and instantly catchy chorus are all ingredients of a surefire DeMarco hit. And the music video, which features duplicates of Mac busting out all the best moves in his arsenal, is hysterical and that never hurts either.

'Cooking Up Something Good'

Rock And Roll Night Club was a promising first release for the young Canadian, but from the outset of his 2012 LP 2, it is clear that the screws were tightened up enormously as this significantly more focused collection of tracks ebbs, flows and grooves way more generously than the last. And with the first track, 'Cooking Up Something Good,' DeMarco introduces what has since become a preferred tactic of his: hiding the darkness of his lyrics beneath such sunny instrumentation that people might even want to look at the shadowy clouds. When this track begins, a bouncy guitar riff begins panned all the way to the left in the mix before being joined by a funky bass and a supplemental guitar, as well as a light and lithe drum performance. It is the kind of music that makes for a nice summer drive. But, as DeMarco confirmed on his live record, Live And Acoustic: Vol. 1, the track is actually about his estranged father's methamphetamine habit and how it affected his youth. He makes it sound sort of flip and unimportant, but a truth is revealed that the difficulties likely faced during his childhood.


Mac DeMarco has crafted many love songs, but few have the immediate beauty of the twinkling guitars and chugging bass that pepper 'Dreamin.' Dealing with the very important realization that the dream person may not exist and that sometimes the love we have right before us is the very best, 'Dreamin' is a simple, straightforward track that warms the heart everytime.

'Freaking Out The Neighborhood'

Copping ideas from both Martha and the Vandellas and Dire Straits for this track, 'Freaking Out The Neighborhood' is the first of two songs on 2 that brought many people to Mac. The watery rhythm guitar compliments the nimble jangle of the lead as DeMarco sings an apology to his mother for a now-infamous incident in which, during an exceptionally inebriated evening, DeMarco was filmed inserting a pair of drumsticks into his ass. He promises that he is doing just fine and that no one should be worrying, but he is sorry for worrying everyone and making people think less of his mom. While the event has grown tiresome and embarrassing for everyone involved, 'Freaking Out The Neighborhood' will remain an assured highlight no matter what.

'Ode To Viceroy'

The other track from 2 that hooked so many is also a love song, but one not dedicated to a usual subject. This off-kilter ballad is sung for DeMarco's preferred brand of cigarettes, the exceptionally hack worthy Viceroy. This starry adoration for the discount brand smokes, which he readily admits he'll be smoking till he's dying in the chorus, is fatal attraction at its finest. And the instrumentals, seemingly filtered through a thick haze of smoke directly into the ears of listeners, are characteristically nonchalant and addicting. After a deft descending solo to cap the track, listeners are even treated to the sounds of Mac lighting up, coughing up a storm, just in case you thought for a second that smoking Viceroys could actually be a pleasant experience.

'My Kind Of Woman'

Although most people would probably peg 'Still Together' as the best pure love song in DeMarco's discography (and more on that track next), I believe that 'My Kind Of Woman' is his finest work in capturing the allure of a significant other. From his warm delivery to the shimmering guitars, there is a je ne sais quoi about the song that oozes tenderness and love at every turn. Break this one out for a lovely lady in your life if there is one and hearts will be sure to melt.

'Still Together'

Speaking of heart melters, this ode to Mac's beloved KiKi is likely one of the most endearing love songs committed to tape in recent memory. But for as sweet as the version that closes 2 is, 'Still Together' frequently closes Mac's live shows in dramatic fashion. Dropping the guitar and swinging the microphone around casually like some kind of dressed down lounge singer, DeMarco makes this song a surefire way to send any audience home with good vibes.

'Salad Days'

Setting the stage for his greatest success, both commercially and critically, 'Salad Days' is the first track off the album of the same name. But beyond being a mere introduction to one of 2014's most popular indie triumphs, it also signals a more reflective turn from DeMarco. The notoriously silly musician muses about the universal fear of getting older and longing for the simplicity of youth more and more. It is, in typical Mac fashion, deceptively light to listen to, as it even cops a stretch of scat from The Kinks' 'Picture Book,' but it should also resonate with just about anyone.

'Let Her Go'

Supposedly the result of a demand from Captured Tracks, Mac's record label, for a late night TV show-ready single, 'Let Her Go' sounds nothing like the work of a man forced into making a song. Instead, it may very well be the best amalgamation of the artist's gifts. An especially funky bass fuses together with a tight drumbeat and a nice shaker to create a delicious background to the twinkle of the guitars as Mac muses upon the need to never hold onto love that does not feel true. "Let her go," he croons, making it seem like a beautiful act rather than a heartbreaking one. But he is just as quick to stay noncommittal, as he finishes the track by saying, "Or you can keep her, its okay, its up to you. Make your own choice...there you go. God bless." It is a simple song, it is a beautiful song and, make no mistake, it is a Mac DeMarco song, through and through. Captured Tracks may have mandated it, but this is a pitch perfect creation that Mac can remain proud of for years to come.

'Passing Out Pieces'

The first single to drop from Salad Days threw people for quite a loop at the time of its release. Gone were the lead guitars and the groovy bass, replaced instead with grimy '80s synths that either sludged along or oscillated. And, for the first time, people took notice that the effervescent DeMarco seemed to be getting worn down. "I'm passing out pieces of me," he admits, before warning, "don't you know nothing comes free?" It is one of his most direct songs, showcasing a telling and dark admittance from a man that has been pushed around the world nearly continuously for several years. And it signalled a new musical avenue as well, one that continues to excite.

'Chamber Of Reflection'

In my mind, 'Chamber Of Reflection' represents the unchallenged high point of Mac DeMarco's discography. Borrowing a synth melody from the '70s Japanese track 'The Word II' by Shigeo Sekito and covering it in a tone made of acidic ice, DeMarco is able to deliver a truly spine tingling instrumental. The atmosphere created by his keyboard is a haunting one, giving off the impression of a slowly shrinking bedroom from which one can never escape. And the feelings of loneliness and heartbreak expressed in the song's lyrics are among his most evocative. It is, at its core, a simple song. The drums and bass are both stripped down to act in their most basic capacities as instruments. Yet, somehow, 'Chamber Of Reflection' manages to stun and floor at every turn. It is a powerful song and will remain, for the foreseeable future, Mac's very best.

'Another One'

Standing as the unmatched highlight of his new mini-LP, Another One, the title track is an almost disturbingly neurotic piece of music that provides telling insight into DeMarco's mind. But, as is typical of him, the silly music video and the seemingly flip title given to the song (and record as a whole, for that matter) merely deflect what is at the heart of this song: a man who spends so much time away from his love that he is convinced their love has faded and she has someone new. "Must be another one," he sings with cool conviction, "must be another one she loves." It is just under two minutes of minimalist music and paranoid, irrational lyrics, but you would never be able to tell when it is all performed by the charming, smiling mug of Mac DeMarco.