By Carmen Saffioti
Published: March 13th, 2019
Popular indie singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco announced that his next album, “Here Comes the Cowboy,” will be released on May 10th, 2019. Along with this announcement came the release of the first single of this album– “Nobody.”
The slow sad ballad is accompanied by a strange and oddly comical music video of Mac DeMarco dressed as a “creature” in a cowboy hat and bathrobe. The release of the track was quickly met with controversy from Mitski fans who claim that DeMarco is stealing from Mitski, who in 2018 released her album “Be the Cowboy” with a featured single also entitled “Nobody.” Despite the shared title however, the tracks have no similarities to each other, neither musically or thematically. DeMarco is planning a tour surrounding the release of his new album and will be performing in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, on August 6th.
The track itself is identifiably in DeMarco’s style– atmospheric and dreamy. It begins with this simple tune on guitar, which has a bit of a country music vibe, and an underlying synth loop that continues throughout the song. The song quickly establishes itself as melancholy, yet relaxed– almost like a sad sigh. The first verse is “I’m the Preacher/ A done decision/ Another creature/ Who’s lost its vision” the entire song follows this style, sparse and minimal lyrics with ambiguous meaning. However, a possible interpretation is life regret that so many of us can relate to. The song does not feature any of DeMarco’s signature falsetto high notes, while I wish he did include some in the song, it doesn’t take away from the track’s simple yet depressing beauty.
The music video, which was released the same day as the single, perfectly fits the mood and tone of the music. In it, DeMarco is dressed as some sort of strange creature in a robe and cowboy hat while smoking a cigar and singing. The makeup, while somewhat scary, makes DeMarco look cartoonish– almost as though he was some sort of children’s book villain. The strange comedy of this visual is a nice contrast to the song itself. While it doesn’t take away from the grief in the music, it’s a nice comedic break from the heaviness of the tune. The music video is really that simple– the background is just a black screen and there is no distinguishable plot or reason to this visualization.
Mitski fans were quick to notice the similarities between DeMarco’s album and their favorite artist. Some announced their criticisms on Twitter. “When a man says your point, louder, in a meeting two minutes later” wrote one user in reference to the similarities. However, Mitski herself has dismissed these allegations against DeMarco “haha! I’m 100% sure mac & I just went fishing in the same part of the collective unconscious!” she wrote in a tweet “my god, why is everyone mad? i’m laughing!” So, in reality this seems to be the case of a Twitter witch hunt rather than actual plagiarism.