After playing a show in California’s Bay Area in January 2022, Mac DeMarco hit the road. His destination wasn’t so much a place as it was a goal: keep driving north until he had an album. The resulting collection of instrumentals, Five Easy Hot Dogs, is set to arrive on CD and digital platforms on January 20th via Mac’s Record Label.

“Kind of like being on tour, except there weren’t any shows, and I’d just be burning money,” DeMarco said of his first album since 2019’s Here Comes The Cowboy (followed the next year by a pair of demo releases).

The songs on Five Easy Hot Dogs tell the story of Mac’s trip up the West Coast, with each song named after the city in which it was recorded. Beginning in Gualala, CA, the Canadian indie singer-songwriter moves north through Crescent City before arriving in Portland, OR. DeMarco returns to his homeland for a trio of recordings in Vancouver as well as a pair in Edmonton before resurfacing in Chicago and Rockaway.

“Some places I stayed longer in than others, some of them I knew from the past, others not so much,” DeMarco said of his journey. “I tried to keep things busy all the time. If I didn’t know what was up in a city, I’d just walk around ‘til someone recognized me and go from there. I met a lot of interesting people this way, and had a bunch of cool experiences.”

Related: Mac DeMarco Joins DOMi & JD Beck For “TWO SHRiMPS” On ‘Fallon’ [Watch]

The trip led Mac to hotels, motels, and people’s houses where he recorded all 14 songs on the album. If where he found himself wasn’t working for him, he’d simply pack up his mobile studio and head to the next town.

“I had my guitars with me, a bass, a weird little drum kit with a kick drum we sawed in half in Golden Gate Park, all the stands and cabling I’d need, a couple of mics, an old model D, and a TX7,” DeMarco said. “I wound up picking a bunch of stuff as I went as well, trying to keep it as travel friendly as possible though.”

While it doesn’t appear on the album, the trip also included an abbreviated stay at a cabin in Utah.

“It probably could have slept about 20 people, but instead it was just me withdrawing from nicotine with a bunch of taxidermy animals all over the place. No other humans for probably 50 miles in any direction. Horrible idea. I lasted one night and went back to Los Angeles the next day,” he said. “When I first got back home, I felt as though I had given up on my idea and failed to finish what I was trying to do. But that’s all dog shit.”

DeMarco reflected on his vagabond album, saying,

The nature of ripping around and recording and traveling in this manner doesn’t lend well to sitting around and planning or thinking about what it was that I was setting out to do. I didn’t ever have a sound in mind, or a theme or anything, I would just start recording. Luckily the collection of recordings from this period all shake hands, they have a present musical identity as a whole. I was in it while I was in it, and this is what came out of it, just the way it was.

This record sounds like what rolling around like that feels like. I hope you enjoy.

The new Mac DeMarco album Five Easy Hot Dogs is available here for pre-order. Vinyl copies are due on May 12th. See below for the full tracklist.

Five Easy Hot Dogs Tracklist:

1. Gualala
2. Gualala 2
3. Crescent City
4. Portland
5. Portland 2
6. Victoria
7. Vancouver
8. Vancouver 2
9. Vancouver 3
10. Edmonton
11. Edmonton 2
12. Chicago
13. Chicago 2
14. Rockaway

Click To View Tracklist