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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Unexpected existential instrumental album

A large rock sits on the shore among ocean waves in a YouTube music video for Canadian musician Mac DeMarco’s instrumental album “Five Easy Hotdogs.” Photo courtesy of YouTube
A large rock sits on the shore among ocean waves in a YouTube music video for Canadian musician Mac DeMarco’s instrumental album “Five Easy Hotdogs.”
Photo courtesy of YouTube

HOPE SMITH
managing editor
hope.smith393@my.tccd.edu

Fourteen tracks for “Five Easy Hot Dogs” later and much of it can be summed up to what the “Teletubbies” landscape and the air balloon image optometrists show you would have sounded like if they made an instrumental album together. Which realistically doesn’t seem reasonable but neither does the title of the album, so they technically cancel each other out in terms of weirdness.

It’s bleak. But it’s put into the perspective of personifying the process of developing the album when it was produced on a trip from Los Angeles to New York. 

Often it’s easy to forget that music is also art when listening to it daily on the radio, on the way to work, streaming endlessly and on and on through the night while no one is really listening. It’s just there – always. 

When Mac DeMarco made this album, it felt more like the road trip itself, like maybe he painted the experience through this album. So at first it’s odd, all instrumental, unsure of a purpose. 

Having experienced many of the roads taken to face a West to North trip like the one of Los Angeles to New York, some of these songs seriously sound like the landscape on the way over, and so much of it is just thinking. When I traveled much like that, all I could do was observe the landscape in front of me and watch the changes of the world as I sat in the car – rural to town and town to city. 

That’s the “Teletubbies” landscape. It’s just enough to where it’s almost unsettling that all that space just exists, and the prospect of being alone with it makes someone want to never be alone to think of the sheer existentialism. 

The air balloon optometrist image is just like that. Except there’s something in the distance to disturb all of the neutral green. It’s big and colorful, and it’s apparent in this album that despite the back rooms-turned-natural aura of the album, it will always have the DeMarco touch. 

Each song is crafted by DeMarco in the way that it seems he’s made all of his music, so there is comfort in the chaos or lack thereof. 

Overall, this doesn’t make a truly incredible album, and it requires getting adjusted to no lyrics – which is unlike DeMarco in his other albums.

Still, a funky sound for him. It’s just not preferred. From the standpoint of a regular listener who would play other songs from different albums, it’s not strong to play for enjoyment and certainly not in a car full of people. The second someone puts on “Vancouver 2,” the energy would immediately come to a screeching halt. 

Enjoy while studying, maybe falling asleep. Enjoy for analyzing and pondering, but it’s not daily material and it’s not aux proof. Enjoy it because DeMarco’s music is still enjoyable. Enjoy it during a cross country roadtrip and maybe even decipher why there are five hotdogs and what about them is easy. 

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