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Happy Friday From Mac Demarco and His Newest 8-Hour-Long (199-Track!) Album

Whacky Maccy in 2023, as taken by his partner Kiera.

When I was a teenager, about a decade ago (oof), Mac Demarco was THE guy in indie rock. He defined an entire new generation of sound and style, with his lackadaisical jams and offbeat sense of aesthetics. Rocking a “Canadian tux” with a cigarette between his gap teeth, Mac was iconic, and whether you liked him or not, you sure as hell knew who he was. At the very least, I have many fond memories of driving through LA, windows down, with “Salad Days” on loop in the background.

A decade later, he’s continued to truck along, making albums with a fair degree of consistency. A studio album here, a remix album there, and most recently, an album composed entirely during a road trip from California to New York (“Five Easy Hot Dogs”). Though he’s got an image as some carefree “pepperoni playboy,” Mac’s a talented and deliberate musician, so we often expect him to take time in between releases.

This is just one reason why today’s release, “One Wayne G,” came as such a surprise, since he hadn’t really alluded to it prior, and it’s only been a couple months since “Five Easy Hot Dogs.” But the main shock about it is the fact that it’s got 199 tracks, all previously unreleased from other projects.

My man. That’s eight straight hours of twangin’. Good lord.

One Wayne G

According to Pitchfork, there’s a stylistic reason why Mac released 199 songs specifically. The One Wayne G in question is the “One and Only Wayne Gretzky,” hockey star extraordinaire, who sported number 99 on his jersey. More to the point, he earned his team, the Edmonton Oilers, four Stanley Cups in the 80s, and Mac grew up in Edmonton in the 90s. His label also apparently posted a story about Gretzky on Instagram.

The songs are entirely comprised of numerical titles, with just a few who are followed with “actual” names. They’re all the dates the songs were put together, from projects between 2018-2023. It’s a trip of an album to listen to, almost sounding like it was pulled from a Mac-themed fever dream. Most are instrumentals, following the vibe of “Five Easy Hot Dogs.” Others have vocals, hearkening back to those late-2010s projects. Others still are just assortments of ambient sounds overlaid with sparse instrumentals.

One might think that this was just a random career move on Mac’s part, but to be honest, this seems perfectly in line with his trajectory as a musician and as a person. He might have rubbed some people the wrong way for his earlier antics, but something that always made him stand out was the fact that he never really seemed to put on airs. Mac Demarco was just who he was, in any given situation. He made music he liked, sometimes entirely on his own terms, and his music reflected that aspect of himself.

Moreover, he was only in his early twenties when he got started, and in case you didn’t already know, young men in their early twenties are experts when it comes to The Sillies. He’s now in his early thirties, he’s already had his big heyday, and now he’s mellowing out, enjoying what more he can do with his sound and finding new ways to share and connect with fans.

“Five Easy Hot Dogs” was a great album, decidedly peaceful and tranquil compared to the ciggy-smokin’ “Salad Days.” I’ll be real, “One Wayne G” is comparatively weird as hell, for many aforementioned reasons. But, that’s Mac for ya. Thanks for the weekend gift, you Canadian fox.

(Featured Image: Mac Demarco/Kiera McNally)

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Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).