Chamber of Reflection: Mac DeMarco’s Song of Isolation and Self-Discovery

by Alex Harris

11th May, 2023

Chamber of Reflection: Mac DeMarco's Song of Isolation and Self-Discovery

Mac DeMarco is a Canadian singer-songwriter known for his distinctive style of indie rock, which blends elements of lo-fi, psychedelic, folk, and pop.

He has released six studio albums, the most recent being Here Comes the Cowboy in 2019.

One of his most popular and acclaimed songs is Chamber of Reflection, released in 2014 as part of his second album, Salad Days.

Mac DeMarco Salad Days Album Cover
Mac DeMarco Salad Days Album Cover

In this article, we’ll dive into the meaning behind the song, the unique sample that inspired it, and how it has resonated with listeners on a deep, emotional level.

The Meaning Behind Chamber of Reflection

Chamber of Reflection is a song about spending time alone and engaging in self-reflection.

The title references a masonic ritual room where individuals are left in solitude to meditate on their life choices and actions.

The music video for the song contains the masonic compass and square with a G (stands for God or geometry).

Which fits the imagery used in this song.

DeMarco mentioned that the song reflects his experience dealing with fame and his desire to stay true to himself.

The lyrics of Chamber of Reflection suggest that the narrator is taking time away from the world and preparing for a new beginning.

Chamber of Reflection lyrics touches on themes of introspection, identity, and the importance of solitude in personal growth.

Mac DeMarco – Chamber Of Reflection (Official Video)

Chamber of Reflection Lyrics
Verse 1
Spend some time away
Getting ready for the day you’re born again
Spend some time alone
Understand that, soon, you’ll run with better men
Alone again

He spends time alone to understand his feelings and knows that eventually, he will be among others who have also gone through this process.

He repeats the phrase, alone again to emphasize the importance of being alone.

The chorus of the song goes:

Alone again Alone again Alone again Alone

The song conveys a sense of loneliness but also a sense of hope and empowerment.

The narrator is not afraid to be alone and sees it as an opportunity to grow and learn.

He is not looking for external validation or distraction but rather for internal clarity and peace.

Chamber of Reflection lyrics encourages listeners to embrace solitude as a path to self-improvement and enlightenment.

Verse 2
No use looking out
It’s within that brings that lonely feeling
Understand that when you leave here
You’ll be clear, among the better men
Alone again

The Sample That Inspired Mac DeMarco

The song uses a synth part from a 1975 song by Japanese artist Shigeo Sekito called The Word II (ザ・ワードⅡ / セキトウ・シゲオ).

DeMarco said he found it on YouTube and liked its cheesy sound. The sample has been used by artists such as Wiz Khalifa, Mr. Waves, and Ufo361.

DeMarco has expressed his admiration for Sekito’s work, and his use of the sample in Chamber of Reflection alludes to the timeless appeal of the original composition.

The sample adds a nostalgic and melancholic tone to the song and creates a contrast with DeMarco’s vocals and guitar.

The sample has a sense of repetition and continuity, reinforcing the theme of self-reflection.

Comparing Chamber of Reflection and Smoke Chambers, it is evident that DeMarco’s reinterpretation of the sample adds a fresh, modern twist to the original, highlighting his ability to create memorable music that resonates with a diverse audience.

The Impact of Mac DeMarco’s Chamber of Reflection

Chamber of Reflection did not chart on major charts, but it became one of DeMarco’s most popular and acclaimed songs.

It has over 118 million views on YouTube and over 200 million streams on Spotify.

It was also named one of the best songs of 2014 by Pitchfork, Stereogum, and NME.

The song resonated with many listeners who related to its message of isolation and self-discovery.

The theme of solitude and self-discovery struck a chord and appealed to indie rock, lo-fi, and psychedelic music fans, who appreciated his unique style and sound.

Covers or Remixes of the Chamber of Reflection

Various artists have covered and remixed the Chamber of Reflection, confirming its enduring appeal and influence. 

Some notable examples are:

  • A cover by Canadian singer-songwriter Alessia Cara, who performed the song live for BBC Radio 1 in 2015.
  • A remix by American producer Jacob Hutto, who added drums and guitar to the original sample and vocals.
  • A cover by American rapper AKTHESAVIOR, who rapped over the instrumental and changed the chorus to “Melting Amethyst” in 2017.

The track has also garnered attention from critics, with many praising DeMarco’s vulnerability and authentic songwriting on this introspective track.


Chamber of Reflection stands as one of Mac DeMarco’s most memorable and poignant songs, encapsulating his signature style and his ability to connect with listeners on a deeply emotional level.

The song’s themes of isolation, self-discovery, and personal growth continue to resonate with fans, making it an essential part of DeMarco’s discography and one of the best indie rock songs of 2014.

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