Mac DeMarco was having van trouble the day we arrived at the 9:30 Club to shoot him in his dressing room. He’d arrived a little late, but was all casual professionalism when he met us backstage, dressed in red skater shoes and a roomy Simpsons T-shirt. He seemed faintly surprised when I mentioned the growing line of fidgety kids on the sidewalk outside, but then again, DeMarco had recently released one of the year’s most adored guitar-pop albums, and a sub-Beatlemania fandom was becoming normal for the nonchalant Canadian born Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV.
Within minutes, Mac had settled in with water and tea, and he sat down with our videographer’s guitar to peel off two of his best songs, “Salad Days” and “Let Her Go,” in two quick and natural takes. Later we’d watch him from the back of the packed club looking just as relaxed, gamely singing along to a cover of Coldplay’s “Yellow”—and wearing, not surprisingly, the same sneakers and oversized Simpsons T-shirt. For one of indie-rock’s most laid-back stars, there are no costume changes.
Photos by Maggie Famiglietti