Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Listen: Wye Oak - "Glory"

It should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, especially those who've paid even the slightest bit of attention to Baltimore indie rock duo Wye Oak, that their SXSW sets were the highlight of the whole damn thing. But unlike their previous live sets where you could be certain to see Jenn Wasner shredding away to her heart's content, the band's decision to shelve guitar created a much more curiosity-provoking experience. While "The Tower" asserted that the duo's new song didn't sound at all lost or lacking, how the guitarlessness translated into their live set was a definite cause for concern. One subtly allayed by the band's excellent musicianship.

"Glory", the second single from Wye Oak's upcoming Shriek finds the duo plotting a distant course from the land of indie rock and settling somewhere in the realm of danceable electro-pop. It still maintains an organic edge, never quite plunging deep enough into the realm of synths and 808s but there's a certain funkiness, a rumpshaking quality alien to Wye Oak songs and one that was no doubt influenced from Wasner's poppier side projects Flock of Dimes and Dungeonesse. Nevertheless, it's not too jarring a transition but one that seems quite natural both within the context of "Glory" and the band itself. You don't need to have seen the duo live to know that their new album will live up to the hype. "The Tower" and "Glory" make that abundantly clear.

And in case you missed it, here's the first single "The Tower", Wye Oak's Shriek is out April 29th on Merge.

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