The European festival season has just ground depressingly to a halt to make way for a few months of Netflix and chilly. That means it's time to look back longingly at the photos from those four days of music and sunshine you'll use to define 2017 in any social media end-of-year round-up.
If you were at La Route Du Rock in St Malo, you've already won the shallow one-upmanship battle, because there's no finer combination of seaside bliss, historic charm, epic scenery and perfectly curated festival lineup in your friends' feeds.
But this festival isn't simply style over substance. With a year-round role booking French tours for international artists, the team behind La Route du Rock are in a prime position to book one of the most eclectic and solid live bills of them all - this year as ever.
Continue reading: La Route Du Rock 2017 At Saint-Malo, France - Live Review
The thing that is most apparent about Mac DeMarco is that he smokes. A lot. Rarely seen without a cigarette, the master of slacker-rock (or "Jizz Jazz" as Mac describes his sound) chain-smokes through performances, has written a song in honour of his favourite tobacco brand and often proudly displays his finest party trick of fitting a cigarette through the prominent gap in his front teeth. Such an image, accompanied by his laid-back yet insightful songwriting and captivating vocals (as yet undamaged by his absurd tar intake) have seen DeMarco elevated to near-transcendental cult status amongst the indie circles and exceptional reviews for his entire catalogue of work thus far. On 'This Old Dog', his third studio album, Mac DeMarco maintains the uniquely upbeat and relaxed outlook upon the world that has made him so adored whilst exploring the emotional complexities and struggles of relationships, both personal and universal, producing his most insightful work yet.
DeMarco begins the album's opening song "My Old Man" by asking the listener and himself: 'Look in the mirror/ Who do you see?' a poignant reflection upon the role that each individual plays within a world increasingly and terrifyingly distant from anything that resembles idyllic. His individual fears of seeing himself transform into something that he despises is reminiscent of anxieties and insecurities experienced by all, however DeMarco is boundlessly reassuring through his unconcerned and almost comedic assessment of his problems: 'Uh oh/ Looks like I'm seeing more of my old man in me.'
Crafted mostly from using only an acoustic guitar, synthesiser and drum machine, the album is without a distinct variety of sound, however rather than resulting in tedious monotony, this simple arrangement intensifies the purpose of the album and the effect of the prophetic lyrics within it. Subtle differences help DeMarco to explore the entire spectrum of sensation from his eccentric perspective. "Baby You're Out" provides a particularly energetic beat, whilst "For the First Time" is punctuated with mysterious flashes of intrigue. Positioned in the middle of the album, sub-ninety second track "Sister" also stands out for its raw and painful sentiment towards the difficulties fundamental to human existence.
Continue reading: Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog Album Review
The Dorset festival returns with a varied mix of americana, folk, indie and psychedelia.
The first acts have been announced for this year's End Of The Road Festival in Dorset. The end of summer bash will host headliners Father John Misty and Mac De Marco, who top an eclectic bill which includes the multi-Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams, indie troupers Real Estate, Scottish rockers The Jesus And Mary Chain, Malian husband and wife duo Amadou & Mariam, glam rock protégés The Lemon Twigs, and much more.
Mac De Marco's slot will be his only UK festival appearance this year, while Father John Misty is set to make his UK festival headline debut at the event. Both acts are set to release new material this year, with Father John Misty's Pure Comedy set for release in April, and De Marco's This Old Dog due to come out in May. The final headliner is yet to be announced. Last year saw Joanna Newsom, Cat Power and Animal Collective head the event.
Continue reading: First Acts Announced For End Of The Road Festival 2017