Wye Oak sounds like quite an unusual name for a band but not for this indie folk duo. Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack are all the way from Maryland, Baltimore taking their name from their state’s former tree which was destroyed by a thunderstorm.
That aside, it doesn’t seem this band will fall to their death anytime soon. They are to release their third album titled Civilian in March next year and I’ve had the privilege of listening to the title track.
Civilian combines eccentric rock guitar with folk vocals and up tempo drum beats.
It carries traditional folk elements such as Wasner’s soothing Joni Mitchell inspired voice but mixes it up with extreme guitar solos and fancy electronics.
Starting off, it portrays a dark theme by combining sad vocals, somber guitar and a plain drum beat accompanied by a lonesome tambourine. You’re left feeling as if that’s all it is going to consist of. Nothing will change or develop.
But this is the point behind the song. It has a sense of desperation. As the texture goes from soft to fast and pleading, it feels like something is being searched for. The lyrics, “I don’t need another friend. When most of them, I can barely keep up with them” help to show the message.
The drums and distorted guitar kick in alongside this, lending the song to become part of another genre. All components of rock, folk and indie are showcased explicitly. This duo knows how to please.
The tender vocals capture the essence of folk music whilst the building drum beat and passionately played guitar opens the song up to indie. I’ve never heard anything like this before and it’s brilliant.
Don’t miss their album release on March 7 2011.