Mac DeMarco remembers being impressed the first time he met Vicky Farewell, the newest signee to his own label imprint, appropriately named Mac’s Record Label. Introduced by a mutual friend in DeMarco’s converted backyard studio at his house in Los Angeles, he recalls Farewell taking to the keys on a Yamaha CS-60. “I was like, ‘oh, you’re pretty good at that,” he says, reflecting on their very first jam session in their Friends Like These video chat for NME.
It’s not surprising that Farewell, a classically trained pianist, caught DeMarco’s eye. Having spent a number of years behind the scenes as a songwriter and producer, with credits on Anderson .Paak’s 2016 album ‘Malibu’ and Grammy-winning 2019 record ‘Ventura’, it wasn’t until lockdown that she set out to create something of her own.
The result was her first album, ‘Sweet Company’ – a distinctive eight-track debut coloured by balmy R&B melodies and funky retro-synth production – which came out earlier this month. “I would say I was the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life,” Farewell says of the self-written, produced and engineered album. When she played DeMarco the record, he offered her a label deal immediately.
The creative spark that drove Farewell’s debut is something DeMarco says he is “chasing after eternally”. But he does hint that process may currently be in motion. “I’m working on a record. I’m in New York. Am I working on it in New York? Maybe a little bit, some. Just in New York? No, I don’t think so. But I’m here now.” Remaining elusive about the follow up to 2019’s ‘Here Comes The Cowboy’, the only hint he gives is that it’s somewhat Star Wars inspired. “You guys seen Return of the Jedi?” he asks. “You know the Ewok village? Sounds like that, I would like to think.”
But it’s not all about soul searching and record-making for the musical pals. They pair also reveal they sometimes head out together to hit a karaoke spot in LA, and before DeMarco shares his artist of choice, Farewell correctly guesses that his go to is Billy Joel. Though DeMarco’s concerned he needs to find something a bit more “fun” than the artist’s 1977 classic ‘Just the Way You Are’.
In their Friends Like These interview, the musicians also discuss their favourite artists of all time, first live show experiences and the biggest misconceptions people have about them. Watch the video in full above.