WYE OAK – ” It Was Not Natural “

Posted: April 7, 2018 in MUSIC
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Wye Oak’s fifth album pursues a litany of modern malaises, each track diligently addressing a new conflict and pinning it against walls of sound, with the song’s subject and shape inextricably and ingeniously linked. A gripping and powerful set of songs built with melodies, movement, and emotions that transcend even the best of their back catalogue.

Indie sophisticates Wye Oak return with the album “The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs”, the duo’s most vibrant and aurally dazzling record to date. The tonal change that began on 2014’s Shriek carries through to their fifth effort, whose dramatic polyrhythms and ever-shifting synth and guitar grooves resemble the interlocking gears of some fantastic timepiece. Since their 2006 debut, Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack have taken an increasingly less-straightforward path to achieve their musical means, working well beyond the minimalism of their guitar-and-drums personnel to create intricate but accessible modern pop music. Wasner’s excellent 2016 solo project, Flock of Dimes, is certainly a major influence on the current direction of  Wye Oak, placing a greater emphasis on bright, electronic-threaded production and arrangements that are somehow both sweeping and finely detailed. a more prominent multi-instrumentalism which is as heavy on guitar as on synths, loops, and other electronic elements from both players. Songs like “The Instrument,” “Symmetry,” and the dynamic title cut hurl along with an intrinsic energy, exploring the relationships of self, others, and sounds themselves. While honoring their guitar and drums roots, Wye Oak fill out their canvas with a variety of colors from the pensive underlying loops of the dreamy “You of All People” to the deeply atmospheric centerpiece, “My Signal,” which places Wasner’s gorgeous vocals over an elegant arrangement of strings and experimental pinging tones. When working together, their push and pull remains an attractive part of their appeal and never more so than on this exciting outing.

From the album The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs, out April 6, 2018 on Merge Records

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