WYE OAK – ” Civilian + Cut All The Wires: 2009-2011″ 10th Anniversary

Posted: July 31, 2021 in MUSIC
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Ten years after its release, Wye Oak’s “Civilian” remains a raw, sinewy punch of a record—bleak and intense and lonely and self-assured all at once. It marked both the ascension and death of Wye Oak, or at least a version of it. Now, a decade later, “Civilian + Cut All the Wires: 2009–2011” delves back into that pivotal record and adds a lost album of 12 unreleased tracks and demos to Civilian’s universe.

The album unravels with the sort of self-questioning and uncertainty that come with youth, and its specific confidence in unflinchingly probing all of those emotions. When Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner released Civilian, it marked both the ascension and death of Wye Oak, or at least a version of it. Now, a decade later, “Civilian + Cut All The Wires: 2009-2011” delves back into that pivotal record and adds a lost album of unreleased tracks and demos to Civilian’s universe. 

Today, Wye Oak share “Electricity,” a massive track from Cut All the Wires and the song that lends the 10th anniversary release its title: “There’s nothing about you that I don’t adore / Show me these rooms and I’ll show you the way to the door / Walk me through / I’ll cut all the wires and spend my life with you.”

Sonic paradoxes abound: The mellow “Sinking Ship” is preceded by the wall-of-sound grunginess that roars through “Half a Double Man.” A pared-down acoustic Daytrotter live session of “Two Small Deaths” dovetails into the jangling “Holy Holy” demo. The closing lyrics over the frenetic, screeching feedback of “Electricity” lend the anniversary release its title: “There’s nothing about you that I don’t adore / Show me these rooms and I’ll show you the way to the door / Walk me through / I’ll cut all the wires and spend my life with you.”

On the occasion of its 10th anniversary earlier this year, Stereogum described Civilian as “an album of hellos and goodbyes at the same time, introducing us to everything Wye Oak could be, before setting the stage for the other Wye Oaks we’d soon get to know, and the all the others we’ve still yet to meet.”

“Civilian” turning ten this year, we’re so excited to share “Civilian + Cut All The Wires: 2009-2011”, a deluxe reissue including a second disc made up of songs written during the Civilian era, demos, and live sessions. The first single, “Electricity,” is out everywhere today.

Civilian was beloved upon release, complete with late-night TV appearances, sold-out concerts, and glowing reviews; The acclaim came inevitable burnout, thanks in part to Wye Oak’s workhorse mentality, the 200+ shows they performed on the back of the album’s release, and a persistently misogynistic narrative about Wasner’s guitar skills. But rather than recoil, the band decided to rethink: Civilian set the duo on a decade-long course of innovation. On “Shriek”, the follow-up to “Civilian“, they completely did away with guitars. And now, in 2021, Wye Oak seem to have fully ditched the album format. 2020’s “No Horizon”, their EP collaboration with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Wasner and Stack are fully committed to reinventing their sound over and over again. Devoting nearly 2,000 words to its 10th anniversary earlier this year. 

Deluxe 10th anniversary reissue includes original album plus bonus LP “Cut All the Wires: 2009–2011

The Civilian + Cut All the Wires: 2009–2011 double-LP is pressed on deluxe green swirl Peak Vinyl housed in a gatefold jacket that features each album’s cover when flipped.

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