Jan 04, 2023
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Kiera McNally
Mac DeMarco has announced a new album, Five Easy Hot Dogs. It is an instrumental album recorded in various cities during a road trip up the West Coast. Five Easy Hot Dogs is due out digitally and on CD on January 20 via Mac Record Label, with a vinyl release scheduled for May 12. No new music from the album has been shared, but below is the album’s tracklist and cover art.
“The plan was to start driving north, and not go home to Los Angeles until I was done with a record,” DeMarco says in a press release. “Kind of like being on tour, except there weren’t any shows, and I’d just be burning money.”
After playing a January 2022 show in the Bay Area, DeMarco planned to keep heading north, stopping at motels/hotels or friends’ houses, recording along the way. The song titles are simply named after the city each song was recorded in and the tracklist is in chronological order in terms of when a song was recorded.
“Some places I stayed longer in than others, some of them I knew from the past, others not so much,” DeMarco explains. “I tried to keep things busy all the time. If I didn’t know what was up in a city, I’d just walk around ‘til someone recognized me and go from there. I met a lot of interesting people this way, and had a bunch of cool experiences.”
He adds: “I had my guitars with me, a bass, a weird little drum kit with a kick drum we sawed in half in Golden Gate Park, all the stands and cabling I’d need, a couple of mics, an old model D, and a TX7. I wound up picking a bunch of stuff as I went as well, trying to keep it as travel friendly as possible though.”
DeMarco’s journey ended at a cabin he booked in Utah. “It probably could have slept about 20 people, but instead it was just me withdrawing from nicotine with a bunch of taxidermy animals all over the place. No other humans for probably 50 miles in any direction. Horrible idea. I lasted one night and went back to Los Angeles the next day,” he says. “When I first got back home, I felt as though I had given up on my idea and failed to finish what I was trying to do. But that’s all dog shit.
“The nature of ripping around and recording and traveling in this manner doesn’t lend well to sitting around and planning or thinking about what it was that I was setting out to do. I didn’t ever have a sound in mind, or a theme or anything, I would just start recording. Luckily the collection of recordings from this period all shake hands, they have a present musical identity as a whole. I was in it while I was in it, and this is what came out of it, just the way it was.
“This record sounds like what rolling around like that feels like. I hope you enjoy.”
DeMarco’s last album was 2019’s Here Comes the Cowboy. Five Easy Hot Dogs’ album title might be a reference to the 1970 movie Five Easy Pieces, starring Jack Nicholson.
Five Easy Hot Dogs Tracklist:
2. Gualala 2
3. Crescent City
5. Portland 2
8. Vancouver 2
9. Vancouver 3
11. Edmonton 2
13. Chicago 2