Despite Having 199 Songs, ‘One Wayne G’ Provides Slim Pickings

Mac DeMarcos 6th studio album, One Wayne G, was released on April 21, 2023, and features 199 songs.

Mac DeMarco

Mac DeMarco’s 6th studio album, ‘One Wayne G,’ was released on April 21, 2023, and features 199 songs.

Jude Gorden, Assistant Features Editor

Indie legend Mac DeMarco released One Wayne G, a behemoth of an album, on April 21. It only took him five whole years to finish.

One Wayne G is made up of 199 songs, all named after the date they were recorded on—ranging from the summer of 2018 to early 2023. The song names, which are mostly just a list of numbers, make it nearly impossible to differentiate between songs. Even an incredible song would be hard to remember if its name was just “20200723.”

When recording and assembling One Wayne G, DeMarco took his “slacker who’d rather be getting high at a skatepark” persona too seriously—that is to say, any drug-rug-wearing hipster who lives in their parents’ basement could have produced the majority of One Wayne G.

The album is almost entirely instrumental, which would make more sense if Demarco had a crappy voice, but he doesn’t. For reasons unknown to fans, Demarco severely rationed his vocals in this album, similarly to his 2023 album Five Easy Hot Dogs. An astounding 18 of 199 songs on One Wayne G have discernable lyrics.

One Wayne G is a dumping ground for all of DeMarco’s strange musical experiments that would normally never make it into a finished album. Instead of cutting strange songs like “20190205 2,” which is just two minutes and 35 seconds of two metal pipes banging together, DeMarco made them the focus, which no one asked for. 

DeMarco himself recognizes that the GarageBand-sounding instrumentals that make up most of this album don’t measure up to his past work. In 2019, PBS NewsHour released a video of DeMarco teasing a snippet of the song “20190724,” saying “It’s garbage, but fun to make.” 

The album was surely fun to make, just not as fun to listen to. I’d rather stream one of DeMarco’s older albums than skip through eight hours of songs like “20200808”—nearly three minutes of water-trickling sounds—to get to the good ones.

They may be buried under random instrumental tracks, but there are a few stand-out songs on the album that have potential to rival DeMarco’s older songs. His classic style shines through in the song “20200817 Proud True Toyota,” the song that bridges the gap between the rest of the album and DeMarco’s music pre-Five Easy Hot Dogs.

“Proud True Toyota” encompasses everything I wanted the album to be. DeMarco’s soft but upbeat vocals pair with a groovy beat to make the perfect summer road trip song. I did expect the entire album to carry the same energy, but at least “Proud True Toyota” provides a snippet of what One Wayne G could’ve been.

Songs “20191010 No Doubt About It” and “20191009 I Like Her” have a romantic, almost Sinatra-like feel that would perfectly complete the soundtrack to an old black and white romance film. These slow but memorable tunes take a sharp turn from the vibe of the rest of the album while maintaining DeMarco’s signature “slacker music” style.

DeMarco somehow managed to write a nine-hour album with only a handful of good songs. One might think that out of 199 songs, at least half would be decent, but DeMarco proved that wrong with the release of One Wayne G.