The King’s Fool

Mac DeMarco

Mac DeMarco
Mac DeMarco. Photo by Todd Cooper.

With his always-vacant bug eyes, gap-toothed perma-grin and just-rolled-out-of-bed demeanor, Canadian musician Mac DeMarco is indie rock’s greatest goofus.

But underneath it all, there’s a sly knowingness. You’re not sure how it happened, but while you weren’t looking this simpleton pulled a prank on you — tweaked your nose, tussled your hair and left you standing mystified but thoroughly amused.

DeMarco hit indie rock gold with 2014’s Salad Days and follow-up Salad Days Demos (no apparent relation to Minor Threat’s song of the same name). Salad Days is a low-key collection of guitar pop that sounds a bit like an old Kinks cassette after it’s been submerged too long in water.

Throughout, DeMarco can’t be bothered to sing in much more than a tune-adjacent mumble, his guitars wibble and wobble upon a spacey precipice, too jokey to be called melodic, too melodic to not be taken seriously.

Stick with it, and eventually meaning emerges, hooks coalesce, musical ideas snap into focus. “Let Her Go” could be a slacker’s take on The Zombies or The Left Banke. DeMarco wouldn’t ever be interested in being called a deft guitarist, but the guitar riff that propels “Blue Boy” is charmingly spry.

But perhaps everyone already knows this — his April 21 show at Cozmic is sold out.