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The Meaning of Mac DeMarco’s “Heart to Heart”

Mac Miller, Steve Lacy, Mac DeMarco (2018).

Mac DeMarco’s “Heart to Heart”, off his 2019 album Here Comes the Cowboy, has become one of the most popular songs from the well-revered indie artist. The track explores a deep friendship that is colored by the two individuals having a similar view on the world, and a similar path in life.

“Heart to Heart” is known to be inspired by a real-life friendship that existed between Mac DeMarco and the late rapper Mac Miller, and even samples Miller’s voice in the final seconds of the track.

In this article I will document the friendship between the two artists and illuminate the meaning of the song’s lyrics.

“Heart to Heart” Origins

During a 2019 interview with Entertainment Weekly, DeMarco revealed that wrote “Heart to Heart” as a tribute to Mac Miller, with whom he had become close friends in the final years of Miller’s life.

“We had this strange history, and then we became really close, and I was going over to his place multiple times a week, up until the point that he passed away,” DeMarco explains.

Another Here Comes the Cowboy song was dedicated to Mac Miller: “Skyless Moon”. DeMarco says that he was initially hesitant about including the track on the album, but after he played it for Mac Miller, he decided to put it on there.

“We just listened to it in silence, and he just looked at me after, and he was like ‘Yes! Yes!’,” DeMarco recalls. “I probably wouldn’t have [put the song] on the album otherwise.“ The interview mentions a momentary pause before he closes with, “God bless him.”

Further documenting this artistic bond, there exists an awesome live stream from July of 2018, just two months before Mac Miller’s passing, where Mac DeMarco, Mac Miller, and Thundercat jam out in the studio for nearly 15 minutes. Not many people know this exists, and it’s super cool to see this trio collaborate.

Mac Miller, Thundercat, Mac DeMarco Jam Session

“Heart to Heart” Lyrics Meaning

With the knowledge that the song was inspired by Mac Miller, the lyrics become a bit more easily digestible. Also, despite being influenced by one particular real life friendship, the song’s themes of a deep and effortless connectedness is something that many people can relate with.

Let’s dive into the lyrics, starting with the first verse:

To all the days we were together
To all the time we were apart
Of each other’s lives, heart to heart
And so I had a late arrival
So we never saw the start
Of each other’s lives, heart to heart

First verse to “Heart to Heart” by Mac DeMarco.

DeMarco sings that no matter if these two friends were together or apart, they are connected at the heart. It’s a gentle sentiment to express love for a friend, and it shows an appreciation for someone no matter if they are near or far.

He then sings about having a late arrival, meaning that he didn’t meet this friend (Mac Miller) until later in his life, so they didn’t see each other’s origins. However, the connection remains powerful nonetheless, which DeMarco repeats in the chorus:

Heart to heart, heart to heart
Heart to heart, heart to heart

Chorus to “Heart to Heart” by Mac DeMarco.

The chorus is followed by the second and final verse:

And though it seems so quick and easy
Sentimentally assumed
Walking parallels, heart to heart
To all the days we were together
To all the time we played apart
In each other’s lives, heart to heart

Second verse to “Heart to Heart” by Mac DeMarco.

Here, DeMarco points out that while this friendship may seem effortless, it is actually a rather rare occurrence that existed.

Sure, they got along well, and were both famous musicians — but it does have another layer of curiousity to it: they both use the first name, and were both around the same age, with DeMarco being born in 1990 and Miller born in 1992. They just so happened to be floating along similar planes of existence.

When they crossed paths, the lyrics suggest that it seemed as if they had known one another all along — almost like a cosmic brotherhood.

Another chorus follows, and if you listen closely during the outro, you can hear Mac Miller’s signature laugh — sampled by DeMarco in tribute to his fallen friend.

Listen to “Heart to Heart” by Mac DeMarco below.