Overall-donning Canadian Mac DeMarco has built on his previousrecord, 2, and continued the off-kilter, genre-defying tunes with Salad Days. This time around, DeMarco, a little wiser for wear, turns up the organ chords and lines up the laid-back synths to give listeners’ ears a well-earned holiday.

There’s something nostalgic to DeMarco’s tunes that finds a voice in his shimmery and layered guitar work, harking back to an older era. Yet with familiar sounds, he creates something totally original. Synths find their guiding light in ‘Chamber Of Reflection’, where there is no aural space left untouched by a mash of hovering and piercing synths. The ode to everyone’s two favourite days, ‘Goodbye Weekend’, starts with a twang and will have you dreaming of Hawaiian holidays and legs dangling from swaying hammocks.

Jet back to childhood with ‘Salad Days’ as the title track starts with what could easily form a theme song to one of those wacky kids’ cartoons from the ’90s. For newcomers to DeMarco’s slacker rock, repeat listens will accustom you to his quiet, unassuming vocals that might at first seem underdeveloped.

Salad Daysis contagiously relaxing and melodically beautiful.

4/5 stars

Salad Daysis out now onSpunk.

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