When Mac DeMarco’s not ‘Passing Out Pieces’ and expanding a weirdo cult of flannel shirt-sporting, goofy joke-favouring buffoons, he’s passing the baton to his bandmates. On stage they’ll join in with crap jokes and shameless covers of rock ’n roll heroes. Beyond their live duties, they’re busy with projects of their own. There’s enough to dig into with ‘Salad Days’, ‘2’, ‘Rock and Roll Night Club’ and even Mac’s own Makeout Videotape project, which took up his time before his solo stock went meteoric. Over the past couple of years, however, troves of new music has been unveiled by Pierce McGarry and Peter Sagar. Below we rule out the “side-project” tag and take a look at their recent material, plus what’s to come.
Together the projects share a similar don’t-give-a-fuck attitude; a blazed ether-effect and a nod towards the oddball. It’s the perfect kinship for what Mac’s been putting his name to for years.
Pierce McGarry’s been behind the camera for several years now, uploading videos under the WALTER TV moniker as well as directing some of Mac’s videos, including ‘Passing Out Pieces’. That one featured members of the band giving birth to a lettuce, superimposed with Mac’s facial features. Back in the studio, Pierce and co. released the ‘APPETITE’ LP back in 2012. If the more curious moments on ‘Salad Days’ came off like stoned, barely-conscious musings, this project’s even more insane. Opener ‘Nose Bleed’ borrows elements of new wave to make a strange, space-rooted and defiantly minimalist introduction. ‘IN MY ROOM’ is clearly some kind of ode to Mary Poppins (“In my room cleaning up / There’s my dirty pants / And my spent water cup”), while ‘Necessity’ describes the 9-to-5 sprawl that these guys have since escaped with cutting simplicity - “I get up and it’s the new day / I do the same shit that I did yesterday.”
The record’s gaining a re-release on the newly established offshoot of Captured Tracks, Sinderlyn, on August 26th. DeMarco isn’t an official part of the trio, but album credits cite him as a proper member of the band.
Peter Sagar’s HOMESHAKE runs by a similar ‘get baked, make songs’ motto. And granted, everything’s resolutely chilled out in all of his output to date, but there’s something in this project that suggests it’s ready to go one step further. An initial ‘HOMESHAKE TAPE’ was released back in January on Fixture Records. Mac DeMarco and Jackson MacIntosh (of Sheer Abony) helped out with the recording, and across the cassette release (it’s since sold out), Sagar creates a curious mix of sleepy-eyed thoughts and jagged-as-hell guitars, by way of Women or Atlas Sound at an extreme. There’s maybe slightly less humour packed into this project than Walter TV - although song titles like ‘Haters’, Moon Woman’ and ‘Gettin’’ Down’ might suggest otherwise. Musically it’s a collision of spiralling guitar notes and jazz-like structures. Before HOMESHAKE, Peter made music under the name Sansaids.
His 25-minute introduction is set to be followed up in September with a new album, ‘In The Shower’. Again, Sinderlyn’s responsible for releasing it, and lead track ‘Cash Is Money’ represents an upping in the production stakes, a glossing up of a strung-out aesthetic.
Listen to ‘Cash Is Money’ below.