Salad Days is the second full-length studio album by Canadian musician Mac DeMarco released on April 1, 2014 through Captured Tracks. Following the debut releases of Rock and Roll Night Club and 2 in 2012 and the extensive touring for both releases in 2013, DeMarco worked on material for his next album at his Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment in Brooklyn. Salad Days garnered acclaim from critics, and debuted at number 30 on the Billboard 200. The album spawned two singles: Passing Out Pieces and Brother. To promote the album, DeMarco went on a tour that spanned across North America, South America and Europe.
On the sound of Salad Days, DeMarco said: "I didn't want to freak anybody out with a huge sound change. I wanted to transition without changing the vibe too much. The mood for Salad Days is, 'Fuck man! I was just on tour for a year and a half and I'm tired!'"
Regarding the album's lyrical content, DeMarco consciously decided to write a more personal record than its predecessor, 2 (2012), stating there wouldn't be any songs about "absolutely nothing", and that he "needed to get this shit out. Three of the album's tracks focus upon his long-term girlfriend Kiera McNally, with Let My Baby Stay referencing the couple's decision to move from Montreal, Canada to Brooklyn.
The track Chamber of Reflection references a freemasonry concept, which DeMarco subsequently likened to his home studio: "It's a room people go into before you're initiated into freemasonry. It's like a meditation room, and they lock you in there for a period of time. The purpose is to reflect on what you've done in your life already and move on from it. I think that's what I did in right here. It was actually therapeutic. I feel a little enlightened, a little less heavy. It's tight".
Upon its release, Salad Days was met with critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 82 out of 100 based on 27 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim". Marc Hogan of Pitchfork stated that Salad Days "isn't a departure from its predecessor so much as a richer, increasingly assured refinement" Fred Thomas of AllMusic wrote that DeMarco showcases "a streamlined picture of his musical development", and that "with more memorable tracks and a slightly more accessible feel, the album is less distracted and more tuneful than before without losing any of the freewheeling spirit that made his songs and persona so attractive in the first place". Alex Denney of NME concluded that DeMarco had "simply dialled down the quirk and written his best record yet".
NME named Salad Days the second best album of 2014, while the tracks Chamber of Reflection and Passing Out Pieces placed at numbers 10 and 26 respectively on their list of the top 50 tracks of 2014. Salad Days was a shortlisted nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize. The album was the most played record across Canadian community radio in April 2014 and the second most played album of 2014, behind Chad VanGaalen's Shrink Dust, as tracked by the National Campus and Community Radio Association's national charts, !earshot. In October 2019, Salad Days placed at no. 21 on Happy Mag's list of "The 25 best psychedelic rock albums of the 2010s". .