I was talking about fruit from the Mac Demarco music tree here recently, and this performance is the prime example. Check out Mac back there in the blonde fan-boy wig, happily playing back-up egg-shaker. He’s much more famous than Connan Mockasin, but here he is on stage without a guitar, grooving and singing along. Watching him back there, just happy to be hanging out, asking no part of the spotlight, really makes me smile.
As for this video, I’m putting it here as much for myself as anyone else. Much of it is from Connan’s second album, Caramel, and the real delights don’t start for me until around the 23:00 mark when they begin ever so slowly to tease out Forever Dolphin Love (30:00), and then again at 51:00 for Megumi (57:00). But if you’re looking for something to put on in the background at home, I recommend it all.
The sound is mixed better than any live recording I’ve ever heard, the aesthetics are on point in all aspects, and they’re just having such a good time together up there. The music is complex and sneakily potent, drawn from a jazz background and then played in an almost lazy, laconic style, like he’s not even sure how his guitar works. Make no mistake though, that weird little Kiwi is a serious god damn musician.
If you’re looking to up your hipster cred, here’s your chance: Connan Mockasin is currently on every indie musician’s list of hopeful underground collaborations (most recently he featured on a James Blake song). What he has chosen to express is undeniably strange, but you can’t argue with his ability to articulate his vision. The guy is a scientific singularity. Though he draws from a thousand influences, you could never mistake him for anyone else.
Full disclosure, it might take some work to get in there. This sort of Funkadelic-meets-Pink-Floyd phenomenon didn’t click for me right away. I recommend taking a maybe counter-intuitive tack and starting your listening with the bass player. Close your eyes and find the groove he’s laying down. Then work your way back through the instruments: bass, then drums, then rhythm guitar and synth, then lead guitar, and last land on the vocals. When you look up and it’s the middle of Forever Dolphin Love, and all that weird noodling has come together and your head is bobbing uncontrollably, well, come and find me — I’ll have Mac get you sorted with a wig and an egg shaker.
Seriously, get involved.