Mac DeMarco is playing two nights at the Moore Theatre in support of his latest album “This Old Dog.”
Mac DeMarco, the Canadian-born, laid-back minstrel of mellow rock ’n’ roll, says he is “addicted” to the excitement of creation. For the chain-smoking, whiskey drinking musician his main professional ambition is to keep making music — in large part, he says, so that he doesn’t have to experience any “withdrawals.”
DeMarco, who experienced a steady rise to fame, beginning in 2012 with the release of his mini-LP, “Rock and Roll Night Club,” and LP, “2,” became a full-fledged star with the release of his 2014 album, “Salad Days,” which peaked at number 30 on the Billboard 200.
DeMarco, who plays two nights at the Moore Theatre on Sept. 10 and 11, released “This Old Dog” in May. The record, which peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200, focuses on DeMarco’s tumultuous relationship with his mostly absent father, while interspersing moments of advice to loved ones. “I like to try and infuse the mentality of ‘Keep your chin up’ into everything I do,” DeMarco says. “Being alive is crazy, we all know this. But, like, here we go!”
8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10 and Monday, Sept. 11, Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave.; $27.50, door price $32.50 (800-745-3000 or www.stgpresents.org)
“This Old Dog,” a more rigidly rhythmic record than “Salad Days,” features DeMarco’s acoustic guitar prowess. DeMarco, often utilizing quirky jazz chords, says he wrote many of the songs between touring and thought they likely wouldn’t be recorded. “The songs sat there for a while,” he says, “but later, I thought, ‘I like some of these. They might be fun to play for people.’ They might make me feel a little uncomfortable, but for the most part, let’s rock ‘n’ roll!”
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The record benefits from DeMarco’s signature hypnotic musical mood, as if each song is melting and dripping to some eventual end. DeMarco’s voice is reminiscent of John Lennon’s, if the former Beatle never left psychedelic Strawberry Fields. The songs swim in a haze as they shift, move and bend in soporific satisfaction.
Where “Salad Days” focused on the loss of youth, “This Old Dog” tends toward a loss of physical vibrancy. Like on the record’s penultimate track, “Moonlight on the River,” where the singer croons, “I’m home, with moonlight on the river, saying my goodbyes / I’m home, there’s moonlight on the river, everybody dies.”
For the indie singer, known as much for his backward hat and gap in his front teeth as he is for his music, “This Old Dog” laments — like on the opening track, “My Old Man,” on which DeMarco sings, “Look in the mirror, what do you see? / Someone familiar. But surely not me.”
“The album is about my dad passing away,” DeMarco explains, “but he hasn’t yet, which is completely insane. When we were face-to-face, I thought he was going to be out in a couple weeks. I have a strange relationship to the guy and I’m trying to rationalize that and understand that.”
And while DeMarco says he can feel a sense of clarity and purpose while on the road — which he has been for years now since the release of “2” — there is still much he needs to learn about maintaining his health and balance on tour.
“We have a really crazy schedule until about Christmastime,” he says, “I’m not as good at [maintaining sanity] as I used to be. I’ve been drinking a whole bottle of Jameson every night on stage and that’s not any way anybody should live life.”
But, the singer says, through hard work, clarity should find him soon enough. “I’m going to figure it out,” he said, “hopefully.”