It’s not so farfetched to point out some similarities between Wye Oak and Low.
Both bands are fronted by a male-female duo sharing vocals. Both bands explore dark,
slow-paced songwriting terrain that punctuates emo-tional stretches of quiet
with blustering waves of distortion and guitar squeals.
From there, however, Wye Oak’s path diverges from their
slow-core brethren. The language of country and roots music permeates their
borderline shoegaze rock, as slide guitars, pedal steel, and folksy vocal
arrangements splash light onto the band’s sometimes-gloomy musical tableau.
Jenn Wasner’s vocals are always clear and softly melodic, never more so than on
a song like the down-tempo “Siamese.” Here, violins creep up into the mix,
shades of Arcade Fire grandeur that remain grounded in simplicity. On the other
hand, at over seven minutes, “Mary is Mary” slowly builds as Wasner sings over
partner Andy Stack’s atmospheric guitar arrangement. And “Take it In” features
a slowly chugging guitar line that subtly explodes into classic rock licks at
each chorus, adding a dose of energy without destroying the fabric of the song.
The Knot is a
thoroughly engaging and consistently interesting new record full of sentiment
and shifting dynamics. Wye Oak is a band to keep your eye on this year.
Standout Tracks: “Siamese,”
“Take It In” JONAH FLICKER
[Read our feature on
Wye Oak in the new issue of BLURT, on newsstands now]