The material for Mac DeMarco's upcoming album This Old Dog has been neat, but one can't help but feel that something is missing, a certain factor that makes the skin tingle and the head nod. That factor is being smooth as fuck, and "On the Level" delivers it by the bucketload after being debuted on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show.
While the gentle wisps of DeMarco's voice, the twinkling synths, and the soulful undertow of the rhythm section all help to contribute to the song's aura of chill, we need to talk about the keys. B-flat minor 7, A-flat over E-flat, E major 7. Those are some jazzy chords, dudes, and DeMarco just lets them simmer for the entire duration. As he told Lowe, "I tried to keep it sexy as I could." He has succeeded, in this case. This is the most Californian song to be made by a Canadian. Listen to "On the Level" below, along with Mac's Beats 1 interview.
Phil has been ready for the return of yacht rock. He's on Twitter.