A quick Wye Oak primer: The Baltimore duo of Andy Stack (drums, keyboards, bass lines, etc.) and Jenn Wasner (kick-ass guitar work and lead vocals) is moving in a more fleshed-out direction. The sound originally featured the vocals of both members, but Wasner has stepped to the forefront on the band’s past two releases. This includes their 2009 Merge debut, “The Knot,” which was my favorite release that year. Their 2010 EP “My Neighbor/My Creator” marked the first time the duo has worked with an outside producer after releasing two self-produced albums.
Wye Oak is growing up.
“Civilian,” the first single off the forthcoming album of the same name, finds Wye Oak adding more elements to an already dense sound. The Wye Oak sound often features a thick wall of sound that some times obscure the vocals of Wasner. This isn’t the case with Civilian, due out on March 8. The sound is stronger and more confident. The organ adds a new element to the folkish tinge. Needless to say, it works seamlessly.
Full disclosure time: I am a Wye Oak fanatic. I have driven great lengths in the past two years to see them five teams (Baltimore, Ithaca, Boston, Northampton, Mass., and Toronto next month when they open for the Decemberists). It is safe to say I am probably more amped for this 2011 release than any other.
On a related note, an early of version of this song can be heard on NPR’s excellent “Tiny Desk Concerts.”
[mp3] Wye Oak // Civilian from the forthcoming Civilian