WYE OAK – ” Civilian + Cut All The Wires: 2009-2011 “

Posted: September 9, 2021 in MUSIC
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Wye Oak’s debut online concert should be a must watch, the Durham-via-Baltimore duo are sharing a new single and music video! On “It’s Way With Me” Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack knowingly revel in the unknown, with Wasner gazing “to the warmth of a future I cannot see” as Stack’s polyrhythms propel the song to powerful heights. The song’s equally gorgeous video, a single uninterrupted shot by Spence Kelly (who created the video for last month’s “TNT”), is a must-watch featuring Wasner and a bunch of helpful hands.

Here’s Jenn Wasner on “Its Way With Me”: This song is about surrender—about learning to feel at peace amidst the chaos of existence through letting go of all that is beyond our control. It’s about the fact that change and loss are inseparable from one another, and about trying to have faith in a more peaceful and equitable future, even when the specific details of what that might look like are beyond our imagining.

Wye Oak will debut their first online concert! Captured at Durham’s NorthStar Church of the Arts, the virtual session features Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack in classic Wye Oak duo formation, performing material across their impeccable discography.

Embracing experimentation in how they approach their musical storytelling, Wye Oak continue to eschew the confines of an album cycle. The end of 2019 and early 2020 saw the release of “Fortune” (which Stereogum described as “a glorious synthesis of Wye Oak’s past and present, pointing to a new way forward”), “Fear Of Heights” and “Walk Soft” a continual flow of the amorphous creative energy the two harness, and a testament to Stack and Wasner’s ability to craft fully realized self-contained universes.

In honour of “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,

“After playing “Electricity” in live shows for a year or so around 2009, we made a studio recording but never mixed it, and ultimately decided to shelve the song. And so, it was relegated to the dustbin of time, AKA an old hard drive which I did not unearth until 2020 when I came looking for old photos and other memorabilia from the Civilian era. On my old drive, I found a treasure trove of material which we had both forgotten ever existed—original demos, live versions of the songs, and, most exciting, a bunch of fully realized studio recordings from this era which never saw the light of day.

On “Electricity,” I was really bashing the drums in a way that I never would now, and I hear that same abandon in Jenn’s singing. The recording has much of what defined the first phase of Wye Oak: an urgent push and pull between chaos and beauty, and a hard-hitting attempt to push out as much sound as we possibly could from our duo setup. It’s not who we are anymore, but I still relate to the old feeling, and I still get goose-bumps when I listen to these recordings. Everything old is new.” – AS

The original demo of “Holy Holy”, recorded in our little attic practice space in Baltimore in late 2010. We weren’t intentionally trying to make it sound like “Cold Blooded Old Times” by Smog but we were absolutely listening to way too much “Cold Blooded Old Times” by Smog.

In July 2020, Wye Oak released the Brooklyn Youth Chorus–assisted “No Horizon” EP, leading The Paris Review to exclaim, “How wonderful it is to hear these artists at the peak of their powers, now a long-lived band but more ambitious than ever. I can’t wait for what’s next.”

“Civillian and Cut All The Wires 2009-2011” the tenth anniversary edition of Wye Oak’s third album Civilian, is due out October 22nd via Merge Records, and from the “lost” album of previously unreleased tracks and demos they’ve shared a demo version of “Holy Holy,” which is beautifully stripped down and raw.

“Civilian + Cut All the Wires (2009-2011)” is out October 22nd, 2021 on Merge Records.

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