The other day I was professing to several friends the crush I’ve had on Wye Oak since their 2009 sophomore album, The Knot.  Their response, “Who?” scared me (I scare easily).  I concluded that most people knew of the dreamy, atmospheric duo and apparently I was mistaken.  For shame!  Well, for the sake of those who don’t know Wye Oak, please pay attention.  The indie rock twosome, Jenn Wasner (vocals, guitars) and Andy Stack (drums, keyboards) is somewhat of a musical hybrid, incorporating elements of indie and garage rock, folk, and dream pop.  Their most recent album, 2011’s Civilian, is not a drastic departure from their prior ventures but is a more focused, stirring exercise in emotional desolation balanced between quiet, melancholy whispers and scratching guitar-laden outbursts.  With Civilian, Wye Oak is at its best when Stack’s consistent methodical drums keep the tracks steady and mesmeric while Wasner cantillates earnest, brooding confessions.

Best Tracks:

The Alter creeps in with spooky harmonies while Stack thumps a hypnotic, bass-heavy beat.  The uniquity of The Alter is the swirling, 70s rock-inspired guitar solo that perfectly severs the two halves of the song.

Hot as Day is Wagner at her most fervent, with an energy that shatters through the despondent lyrics.  The guitars are shakier and more vivid while Stark matches the tone with an aggressive percussion.

When & Where:

I always find that I crave Wye Oak when I’m moving and thinking in slow motion or for the times when I don’t care about anything or maybe care too much.


The Alter


Hot as Day


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Buy Civilian here