Mac Demarco is super friendly. One night I bumped into him on the street with his Mum. It felt like running into one of my close friends. In a short space of time, I’d been kindly introduced to Agnes Demarco and invited along to a gig they were off to in Sydney. There’s a brilliant ordinariness to the famed Canadian indie rocker. I don’t mean that in a condescending way, it’s rather his greatest charm. Mac is one of us.
Enter Tex Crick, an Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who met Mac in a very similar fashion. Recalling a day out in his hometown of New York City, with close friend Connan Mockasin, Tex recalls this comical encounter: “We were in Greenpoint and Connan and I had just bought these faux silk pyjamas for a few dollars that looked like business suits. We were wearing them out for a walk when Mac and Keira pulled up in a car and rolled down the window. Mac invited us to his birthday party the following night and ended up joining us on stage at our NYC show”.
Fast forward from that chance meeting and Tex’s debut album ‘Live in…New York City’ (pronounced like living) is about to be the first LP released on ‘Mac’s Record Label’ – apart from Demarco’s own tunes. Speaking on their relationship Mac had this to say: “I’ve always loved the music he’s sent me and released over those years, and now I’m able to lend a hand in sharing his newest joint. I helped mix this record, and have heard it probably one thousand times at this point, and still love it”.
You’ll be able to get your mitts on the full LP in less than 24 hours, but until then drift off to the already released – ‘Sometimes I Forget’, ‘Peaches & Cream’ and ‘Always On My Mind’. Each track trundles along with joy, brimming with perky keys and languid percussive strokes, as Tex sings about that crazy human experience called love. ‘Live in…New York City’ is an ode to the Big Apple. Recorded in his apartment on an eight-track recorder (over just four weeks), Crick also spent time capturing sounds of the city, strolling the pavement and kicking back in jazz bars, collecting precious field recordings. For Tex, there’s something special about filtering snippets of life into his work.
“There’s always people talkin’, a glass chinking or something over the top of the band… I like how it builds an image in your mind…a bit like reading a novel or something. It takes you back to a time and place, whether you’ve been there or not”.
Further binding the album to the city’s heartbeat, the piano parts you hear, were all played on an instrument salvaged from the street. In between tours, with the likes of Connan Mockasin, Iggy Pop and Alex Cameron, Tex spent time as a piano repairman. Over time, he transformed the discarded piano into a treasured piece, a piece that played a vital role in the record’s completion. Nifty hey!? Tex has voiced his love of musical mechanics saying:
“I’ve always loved pulling things apart to see how they work. I’m constantly buying broken music equipment just to pull it apart and put it back together again…I’m obsessed. Definitely gives the songs a different character…when you know exactly how the sounds are made, you can really tweak everything you do”.
You can hear the confidence Crick has in his tools. On ‘Something I Forget’, the last two minutes are devoid of vocals, as he jams playfully on synth, drums, horn and electric guitar. Along with a knack for instrumentation, Tex’s vocal is also intriguing. Sounding like a friendly old soul, there’s an infectious pleasantry to his tone. I’m reminded of children sitting around a grandparent, in the midst of a fairytale. The voice of a true storyteller.
Tex and his partner are currently living in Japan, moving there not long before the pandemic hit. They didn’t intend to stay long but Tex ain’t complaining, “It’s a nice place to be stuck… Japan is beautiful”. Funnily enough, the videos for ‘Something I Forgot’ and ‘Peaches & Cream’ were both filmed here, even though the album was meant to be all things NYC. Tex doesn’t mind though, he’s happy with the results and so am I. This upbeat, glass-half-full nature of his spills out in the music. A nature similar to that of a scruffy-looking dude wearing Vans and a dad hat, I met many years ago.
‘Live in…New York City’ drops tomorrow.