Thursday, December 7, 2023
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Mac DeMarco – One Wayne G Review

Eight and a bit hours of Mac DeMarco ambience. For some, this is a beautiful gift which gives listeners the chance to relax into a finely formed instrumentalist. For others, this is a terrifying test of their attention span. Instagram reels have ruined the opportunity for any artist to make a masterful collection spanning a third of a day. Here we are though. One Wayne G does just that. Lasting longer than one shift at work and sticking around with a solid groove and tone throughout, the efforts from one man hoping to cater to a constant, bleeding and hopeful collection of tracks. It is hard to pick out tracks within this one, to single out and listen to again. That is not its purpose.  

DeMarco has managed to make an album which needs to be sat and listened to in full in a culture where picking out the favourites is seen as more than enough to experience an album. Not the easiest album for dyscalculia sufferers, but fight on through like the rest of us and enjoy the flow. This is not a cash-in for loads of leftover bits and pieces, assembled in such an order that it can maintain consistency. Each and every track here is handled with care, even if it is impossible to remember more than a handful. But the handful which captures the attention of a listener over the course of a long day, and the impact it has in the moment, can be repeated and changed, turning itself over time and time again.  

Comfortable music which maintains quality is hard to come by, but DeMarco has us covered for the next few weeks and months. Split it up into segments, listen to it on a marathon or while churning out report after report. Whatever the case, it is a wonderful experience, the workings of five years out there for all to hear. DeMarco is a workaholic in the best sense. He hopes to share with his audience what they have given him too. Over five years he has made hundreds of tracks which do not fit here or there, and as outliers to his major works, they fit together with gorgeous serendipity. An instrumental album of the highest form. Or at least, most of it is. Some unfinished vocals here or outlines there add a real flavour and colour to One Wayne G, which feels like the outcasts coming together to prove their worth.

In this long-form style, they certainly do prove their worth. One Wayne G is the intimate core of DeMarco’s work put front and centre for the first time in years. These are his offerings, his failures and his favourites. Peaks come and go with consistent form, the real beauty comes from hearing something unexpected. For listeners everywhere, those tracks will no doubt be different, but the feeling is the same. One of wonder and peace from an album filled with the potential to hold firm and cater to the quiet days. Blue skies and a slight breeze, those are the best conditions to listen to One Wayne G, whatever the task at hand. Background music for the soul, filled with purpose transferred through the everyday. 

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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