Mac DeMarco Talks with Kirin J. Callinan on the Talkhouse Podcast

We pulled Mac away from his indie-superstars golf game for this

On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of friends who make sometimes challenging yet often incredibly catchy and tuneful music, one of whom you’ve seen and heard on Talkhouse several times before: Mac DeMarco and Kirin J. Callinan.

DeMarco has been on the podcast before, and we keep inviting him both because we love his music and because he’s a great conversationalist. For the music part, DeMarco has been making dizzyingly catchy songs since around 2012, when his confusingly titled debut, which is called 2, came out. But it’s been part of his fun-loving persona to keep it light and a little bit silly, even as he’s zapping you with catchy pop. Sometimes he ventures into soft-rock, other times he’s vaguely psychedelic. For his latest album One Wayne G—and I’m not actually sure you can call it that—DeMarco assembled 199 songs that run almost nine hours. Songs might be a little strong a word to use for most of these tracks, which are often instrumental ideas more than fully fleshed out “songs”—he even says that on this podcast. Check out one of those ideas right here, whose title is simply the day it was recorded, “20190205.”

Now Kirin J. Callinan’s records are, like DeMarco’s, often referred to as “provocative,” but these two guys push buttons in different ways. While his friend Mac gives off chill vibes onstage, Callinan likes a little bit of danger in performances. His records can be grandiosely pop-centric while his persona is… intense. He’s often compared to either David Bowie or Nick Cave, and I think the truth is somewhere in between. He’s played on a lot of other folks’ records, including songs with DeMarco and appearances with Caroline Polachek and Mark Ronson, and he starred on the TV series Top of The Lake, so it’s been a varied career to say the least. February 2 will see the release of Callinan’s fantastic new album If I Could Sing. Check out the song “Young Drunk Driver.”

You’ll realize quickly that DeMarco and Callinan are old friends: They get right into talking about Callinan’s recent dye-job and other chummy topics. Some are less fun, including the recent theft of Callinan’s motorcycle—recent meaning he had just gotten off the phone with the police when this chat started. They also talk about the relative coolness of tennis versus golf, Callinan’s new record, and potential future collaborations. You heard it here first. Enjoy.

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Mac DeMarco and Kirin J. Callinan for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great stuff at This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!

(Photo Credit: left, Kiera McNally; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)

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