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WYE OAK

Wye Oak

If Children

    The duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack present an exuberant and assured debut seamlessly combining elements of noise, folk, and shoegaze to create a style all their own. Originally self-released in 2007 under the moniker Monarch, Wye Oak’s debut If Children was given a proper introduction to the world the following spring on Merge Records. Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack take their minimalist setup to maximalist ends, pairing gentle campfire folk with bombastic hazy shoegaze, sometimes within the same song. 

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Please Concrete
    2. Warning
    3. Regret
    4. Archaic Smile
    5. Family Glue
    6. Orchard Fair
    7. I Don’t Feel Young
    8. Keeping Company
    9. A Lawn To Mow
    10. If Children Were Wishes
    11. Obituary

    Wye Oak

    If Children (RSD22 EDITION)

      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2022 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

      Originally self-released in 2007 under the moniker Monarch, Wye Oak's debut If Children was given a proper introduction to the world the following spring on Merge Records. Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack take their minimalist setup to maximalist ends, pairing gentle campfire folk with bombastic hazy shoegaze, sometimes within the same song. Their assured mission statement makes its vinyl debut, on red and white splatter, no less, exclusively for RSD 2022.

      Wye Oak

      Civilian + Cut All The Wires: 2009-2011

        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. 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, feeling them to their deepest extent even when it’s tearing you apart at the seams. 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.

        Wye Oak has always existed, and likely always will, at an intersection, as a paradox. Gentle and jagged, fierce and vulnerable—even the clinical sheen of the word “civilian” feels at odds with a record whose content is almost violently human. As Wasner wrote in a short note that accompanied promotional mailings of the record to press in 2011: “These are songs about aloneness (the positive kind), loneliness (the horrible kind), moving on, and letting go (of people, places, and things).”

        Civilian was beloved upon release, complete with late-night TV appearances, sold-out concerts, and glowing reviews; it was the A.V. Club’s favorite album of 2011. With that 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.

        From a steady stream of standalone singles to 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, 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.”

        Cut All the Wires: 2009–2011, a 12-song collection of rare and unreleased tracks and demos culled from the Wye Oak archives, is an extension of the bruised and aching Civilian. 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.

        As Wasner sees it now, these songs might as well have been written by a different person. In fact, she and Stack had forgotten about most of the material on Cut All the Wires until happened upon while digging through old hard drives. The collection adds another layer of separation, a lost album unexpectedly discovered and the feeling of meeting oneself all over again. When Wasner wrote these songs, she was deep in the throes of heartbreak and suffering, her songwriting cutting through a haze of self-doubt and internalized misogyny in musical spaces. On the recordings, you can hear the strain in her voice (aiming to sound more androgynous, she notes, something that would go on to ultimately hurt her vocal cords). It lends a raw, emotive quality to these songs, quaking with trepidation and intensity. It feels painful, and it feels real.

        TRACK LISTING

        Civilian LP 1
        SIDE A
        Two Small Deaths
        The Alter
        Holy Holy
        Dogs Eyes
        Civilian
        SIDE B:
        Fish
        Plains
        Hot As Day
        We Were Wealth
        Doubt

        Cut All The Wires LP 2
        SIDE C
        Replacement
        Civilian (Demo)
        No Words
        Electricity
        Half A Double Man
        Sinking Ship
        SIDE D
        Two Small Deaths (Daytrotter Session)
        Holy Holy (Demo)
        Pardon
        Black Is The Color
        Ten Fingers
        I’m Proud

        Wye Oak

        The Knot - Reissue

          Wye Oak's second album, released in 2009. Press quotes - “The shimmering of shoegaze slowed down into a throbbing pulse, and loud-quiet-loud aesthetics channeled around ethereal vocals. Their first album was good, this is just amazing. The songs are sleepers and insidious, lounging around for days in your head without you even being aware.” AQUARIUM DRUNKARD // “So dense yet so simple and so affecting, the longing, mournful sway-rock of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack’s Wye Oak after just two albums already stands to be the music Baltimoreans 15 years from now hold up in the same way we hold up, say, Lungfish today.

          The songwriting is pristine: Its melodies, downcast and celebratory in the same measure, burrow under the skin like a gentle inoculation. The lyrical ideas are timeless. Bits of country and folk twang their way to the surface like remembered bits of a dream. And sounds and layers stack themselves improbably, and majestically, into some of the city’s finest tunes. Just a couple of years ago, Wye Oak was crafting its music in relative obscurity and, since, has found its way onto the national and world stages, spreading a whole new Baltimore gospel.”

          TRACK LISTING

          1 Milk And Honey
          2 For Prayer
          3 Take It In
          4 Siamese
          5 Talking About Money
          6 Mary Is Mary
          7 Tattoo
          8 I Want For Nothing
          9 That I Do
          10 Sight, Flight 

          Wye Oak

          Civilian - Reissue

            Originally released March 2011, Wye Oak’s third album celebrates 10 years in 2021. Civilian is the band’s most widely recognized album, and the band’s highest seller. Civilian was produced by John Congleton (St Vincent, Shearwater). Wye Oak is Andy Stack (of Lambchop, Joyero, El Vy) and Jenn Wasner (of Bon Iver, Flock of Dimes). They started as two friends recording demos together in Maryland. Their basement project has since evolved to include a shape-shifting catalog and more than a decade of tours across America and Europe. Jon Pareles of the NEW YORK TIMES described their evolution: “Wye Oak segued thoughtful roots-tinged rock into richly overwhelming textural excursions.” // Quotes - “Wasner’s satin vocals lift, Stack couples a key-driven pulse with splashes of delay and crash cymbal, and what we’re left with is fireworks of a dozen colors. They have our attention from beginning to end.” PITCHFORK // “Their music ambushes you, burning not just barns but whole plantations, taut with latent ferocity and brooding bitterness.

            TRACK LISTING

            1 Two Small Deaths
            2 The Alter
            3 Holy Holy
            4 Dogs Eyes
            5 Civilian
            6 Fish
            7 Plains
            8 Hot As Day
            9 We Were Wealth
            10 Doubt 

            Wye Oak

            No Horizon

              No Horizon, the new EP from Wye Oak, is the latest offering and sound of a project plumbing the depths of an "evolve or die" ethos. For multi-instrumentalists Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, there is no fear of the unknown, no preciousness about rigidity, no hard definition of what Wye Oak is. Here, in a transitional moment for the band, there is no "if" about whether or not they'll experiment with the format of their musical output - it's "how?" Wasner and Stack have been making music together as Wye Oak for over a decade, yielding five critically acclaimed LPs in the process. The Baltimore-born, Durham-based pair spent 2012-2019 writing music while living in different parts of the country, but the five songs that make up No Horizon mark the first that Stack and Wasner composed while both lived in Durham. The EP was originally composed in a tight, concentrated timeframe at the end of 2018 and early 2019, and then performed at New York's Merkin Hall as part of Ecstatic Music Festival in collaboration with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The resulting EP is beautiful and strange: distinctly and recognizably Wye Oak, while simultaneously unlike any other of the band's studio work. 


              Latest Pre-Sales

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