Salad Days (Mac DeMarco album)

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Salad Days
Mac DeMarco Salad Days.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 1, 2014 (2014-04-01)
RecordedNovember 2013
StudioDeMarco's apartment in Brooklyn, New York
LabelCaptured Tracks
Mac DeMarco chronology
Salad Days
Another One
Singles from Salad Days
  1. "Passing Out Pieces"
    Released: January 21, 2014
  2. "Brother"
    Released: March 6, 2014

Salad Days is the second full-length studio album by Canadian musician Mac DeMarco released on April 1, 2014 through Captured Tracks. Following the debut releases of Rock and Roll Night Club and 2 in 2012 and the extensive touring for both releases in 2013, DeMarco worked on material for his next album at his Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment in Brooklyn. Salad Days garnered acclaim from critics, and debuted at number 30 on the Billboard 200. The album spawned two singles: "Passing Out Pieces" and "Brother". To promote the album, DeMarco went on a tour that spanned across North America, South America and Europe.

Background and recording[edit]

DeMarco recorded Salad Days in his apartment, in the Bedford–Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York,[2] following an extensive tour in support of his debut releases, Rock and Roll Night Club and 2, both of which were released in 2012. DeMarco noted that he felt "fuckin' bummed out", upon the tour's completion, stating: "I feel sort of weathered and beat down and grown up all of a sudden. I've always had some kind of plateau that I wanted to reach, and now I just can't see the next one."[3]

Writing and composition[edit]

On the sound of Salad Days, DeMarco said: "I didn't want to freak anybody out with a huge sound change. I wanted to transition without changing the vibe too much. The mood for Salad Days is, 'Fuck man! I was just on tour for a year and a half and I'm tired!'"[4]

Regarding the album's lyrical content, DeMarco consciously decided to write a more personal record than its predecessor, 2 (2012), stating there wouldn't be any songs about "absolutely nothing", and that he "need[ed] to get this shit out".[3] Three of the album's tracks focus upon his long-term girlfriend Kiera McNally, with "Let My Baby Stay" referencing the couple's decision to move from Montreal, Quebec, Canada to Brooklyn.

The track "Chamber of Reflection" references a freemasonry concept, which DeMarco subsequently likened to his home studio: "It's a room people go into before you're initiated into freemasonry. It's like a meditation room, and they lock you in there for a period of time. The purpose is to reflect on what you've done in your life already and move on from it. I think that's what I did in [my home studio] right here. It was actually therapeutic. I feel a little enlightened, a little less heavy. It's tight".[3]


On January 12, 2014 Mac DeMarco told CKUA Radio Network that his second studio album would be titled Salad Days and would be released in April. He also performed three new songs: "Treat Her Better", "Salad Days" and "Let Her Go".[5] The next day, he announced 36 tour dates in North America, South America and Europe.[6] On January 21, the release date of April 1, the track listing and album cover were revealed. That day also saw the release of the first single, "Passing Out Pieces" and the album was made available for pre-order in the iTunes Store with an immediate download for "Passing Out Pieces".[7] The second single, "Brother", was released on March 6.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[10]
The A.V. ClubA−[1]
The Guardian4/5 stars[11]
Mojo4/5 stars[12]
The Observer4/5 stars[14]
Q4/5 stars[16]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[17]

Upon its release, Salad Days was met with critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 82 out of 100 based on 27 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim".[9] Marc Hogan of Pitchfork stated that Salad Days "isn't a departure from its predecessor so much as a richer, increasingly assured refinement".[15] Fred Thomas of AllMusic wrote that DeMarco showcases "a streamlined picture of his musical development", and that "with more memorable tracks and a slightly more accessible feel, the album is less distracted and more tuneful than before without losing any of the freewheeling spirit that made his songs and persona so attractive in the first place."[10] Alex Denney of NME concluded that DeMarco had "simply dialled down the quirk and written his best record yet."[13]

NME named Salad Days the second best album of 2014,[19] while the tracks "Chamber of Reflection" and "Passing Out Pieces" placed at numbers 10 and 26 respectively on their list of the top 50 tracks of 2014.[20] Salad Days was a shortlisted nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize.[21] The album was the most played record across Canadian community radio in April 2014 and the second most played album of 2014, behind Chad VanGaalen's Shrink Dust, as tracked by the National Campus and Community Radio Association's national charts, !earshot.[22]

Commercial performance[edit]

Salad Days debuted at number 30 on the Billboard 200 and number 11 on Top Rock Albums,[23][24] selling 10,000 copies in its first week.[25] Its debut represented DeMarco's highest chart peak and best sales week until the release of Another One the following year.[25] The album has sold 51,000 copies in the US as of July 2015.[26]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Mac DeMarco.

Standard version[27]
1."Salad Days"2:25
2."Blue Boy"2:06
4."Let Her Go"3:02
5."Goodbye Weekend"2:59
6."Let My Baby Stay"4:08
7."Passing Out Pieces"2:47
8."Treat Her Better"3:49
9."Chamber of Reflection"3:51
10."Go Easy"3:24
11."Jonny's Odyssey"2:38
Total length:34:41
iTunes pre-order bonus tracks[27]
12."Go Easy" (Demo)3:30
13."Passing Out Pieces" (Demo)3:02
Total length:39:13


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[28] 94
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[29] 147
UK Albums (OCC)[30] 90
US Billboard 200[31] 30
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[32] 5
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[33] 11

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Edition(s) Label Ref.
Germany March 28, 2014 Standard Captured Tracks
France March 31, 2014
United Kingdom
United States April 1, 2014
2x12" record Deluxe
Germany April 11, 2014 CD Standard


  1. ^ a b c d Mincher, Chris (April 1, 2014). "For his sophomore effort, Mac DeMarco replaces weirdness with wisdom". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  2. ^ Hoby, Hermione (March 22, 2014). "Mac DeMarco: 'I live like a scumbag, but it's cheap'". Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Buck, Chris. "Cover Story: Mac DeMarco". Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  4. ^ Lindsay, Cam (February 21, 2014). "Mac DeMarco Explains the April Fool's Day Significance of 'Salad Days'". Exclaim!. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  5. ^ Minsker, Evan (January 12, 2014). "Watch/Listen: Mac DeMarco Performs New Songs From Upcoming Album Salad Days". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  6. ^ Minsker, Evan (January 13, 2014). "Mac DeMarco Announces Tour". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  7. ^ Minsker, Evan (January 21, 2014). "Mac DeMarco Details New Album Salad Days, Shares "Passing Out Pieces"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  8. ^ Pelly, Jenn (March 6, 2014). "Listen to Mac DeMarco's New Single "Brother"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Reviews for Salad Days by Mac DeMarco". Metacritic. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Thomas, Fred. "Salad Days – Mac DeMarco". AllMusic. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  11. ^ Petridis, Alexis (March 27, 2014). "Mac DeMarco – Salad Days review". The Guardian. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  12. ^ "Mac DeMarco: Salad Days". Mojo (249): 94. August 2014.
  13. ^ a b Denney, Alex (April 17, 2014). "Mac DeMarco – 'Salad Days'". NME. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  14. ^ Fox, Killian (April 20, 2014). "Salad Days review – Mac DeMarco's carefree take on anxiety". The Observer. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  15. ^ a b Hogan, Marc (April 1, 2014). "Mac DeMarco: Salad Days". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  16. ^ "Mac DeMarco: Salad Days". Q (334): 108. May 2014.
  17. ^ Ayers, Mike (April 1, 2014). "Salad Days". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  18. ^ Mapes, Jillian (March 28, 2014). "Mac DeMarco is the Slacker With a Heart of Gold on the Endearing 'Salad Days'". Spin. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  19. ^ "NME's Top 50 Albums Of 2014". NME. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  20. ^ "NME's Top 50 Tracks Of 2014". NME. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  21. ^ "Arcade Fire, Drake, Shad make Polaris Music Prize short list". CTV News. July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ "Billboard 200: The Week of April 19, 2014". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  24. ^ "Top Rock Albums: The Week of April 19, 2014". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  25. ^ a b White, Emily (August 19, 2015). "Disturbed & Mac DeMarco Notch No. 1s on Rock Charts". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  26. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015.
  27. ^ a b c "Salad Days". iTunes Store. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  28. ^ " – Mac DeMarco – Salad Days" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  29. ^ " – Mac DeMarco – Salad Days" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  30. ^ "Top 40 Official Albums Chart UK Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  31. ^ "Mac DeMarco Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  32. ^ "Mac DeMarco Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  33. ^ "Mac DeMarco Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  34. ^ "Salad Days [Vinyl LP]". Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  35. ^ "Salad Days". Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  36. ^ "Salad Days". Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  37. ^ "Salad Days (+MP3)". Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  38. ^ "Salad Days". Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  39. ^ "Salad Days". Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  40. ^ "Salad Days [VINYL]". Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  41. ^ "Salad Days". Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  42. ^ "CT-193 // MAC DEMARCO "SALAD DAYS" LP/CD". Captured Tracks. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  43. ^ "CT-193 // MAC DEMARCO "SALAD DAYS" SPECIAL EDITION BOXSET". Captured Tracks. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  44. ^ "Salad Days". Retrieved April 7, 2014.