The Daily Aztec

Wye Oak gets deep on fourth album

by Courtney Brown

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Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack of the indie-folk duo Wye Oak might be the deepest, most cosmically-aligned artists the music world has seen in a while. Known for their rhythmic elements and layering of various instrumental sounds, Wye Oak culminates that vast range with their latest album, “Shriek.” It expresses a new direction for the group, one that highlights the struggles and victories of humanity.

Wasner also ambitiously swaps her well-known, earth-rattling guitar riffs with dreamy synth sounds. The entire album flows and transitions with effortless precision. The first track, “Before,” introduces a colorful palate of synths, keyboards and drums. The title track, “Shriek,” delves into a more haunting, emotional realm of the album.

Wasner’s chilling vocals meld with a combination of drumbeats and echoing tones. My personal favorite track on the album is “The Tower.” It’s one of those songs that you want to roll your windows down to and cruise with. Opening with a funkadelic beat and strong tempo, “The Tower” showcases Wasner and Stack’s in-sync relationship. Another standout track is “Sick Talk,” which captures an empowering, melodic rhythm. The continuation of the album seems to be shaking off the pressures and stresses that consume our daily lives.

The breaking point is with “I Know the Law” toward the end of the narrative-like record. It’s a song about battling inner demons sung with a divine-like energy. The complexity and depth of the album mirror the work ethic of Wye Oak.

Be on the lookout for Wye Oak tour dates, especially during July when they play at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. “Shriek” debuted on Tuesday, April 29 so you still have time to be the first of your friends to purchase a copy. It is well worth the listen, especially if it means supporting these two extremely talented, modern musicians.

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Courtesy of Shervin Lainez

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