We always thought Jill Helders was number one rock mum on the block, but it looks like there’s a new indie matriarch in town – Mac DeMarco’s lifegiver Agnes. Based in Edmonton in Canada, where she works for a furniture company, 61-year-old Agnes has been taking a little time off recently to join her son on the road and generally be an excellent person. Here are five reasons why Mac DeMarco’s mum is more rock and roll than your mum – sorry, your mum.
Mac’s ma is serving as the MC for the current Laneway touring Festival in Australia, after her son said he’d only play if she could come along. As the festival works its way through Oz, Agnes is announcing acts such as Angel Olsen, St. Vincent, Royal Blood and Future Islands. “There are 30 acts I have to learn and I had heard of about three. It’s been delightful listening to their music. I can’t stop listening to Angel Olsen. Oh. My. God. I love her. She’s like the Joni Mitchell of indie,” she recently said to her local paper The Edmonton Journal. “And Eagulls from the UK? Oh, they’re so cool. They remind me of a combination of early U2 and punk.” Good taste as well as good genes? We love you Agnes.
In April 2014, Agnes joined Mac at Baby’s All Right, a sleek hipster dive in Brooklyn, New York, to celebrate the release of his last album, ‘Salad Days’ at one of his typically chaotic live shows. Instead of meekly cheering him on from the wings, Agnes sang with her son from the middle of the venue and then embarked on a bit of crowdsurfing, despite having hip replacement surgery the previous year. Much respect.
Agnes is about the launch the Mac DeMarco Fan Club. We can’t think of anyone better to be president than a woman who’s in daily contact with Mac’s fanbase. “Fans will write me through Facebook: ‘I was so desperate and then I listened to Mac, and he gave me so much hope’!” Agnes said to The Edmonton Journal. “That’s why I talk to his fans. Because that’s what this world is about, that’s what this life is about — connection and communication and compassion.” Sorry, there’s something in my eye…
A dedicated rock mum, she went to last year’s Polaris Awards – the Canadian equivalent of the Mercurys – where her son was nominated, and ended up atop his shoulders in a candid snap that also featured a goofy looking Win Butler from The Arcade Fire. ‘Salad Days’ – and ‘Reflektor’ for that matter – lost out to throat singer Tanya Tagaq’s ‘Animism’, but that didn’t stop Agnes from having one hell of a party.
There’s another DeMarco, Mac’s little brother Hank, and Agnes is just as giddy about his triumphs. Hank’s an apprentice with the Alberta Ballet and Agnes is his number one cheerleader too. “She’s always been super-outgoing and artsy,” says Hank of his mum. “She’s always wanted to do something exciting but she had my brother and I to raise, so she didn’t have many opportunities. She’s one of those quirky people you want to see in the limelight, and she definitely deserves it.”