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Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Civilian

Wye Oak prepares to enter Civilian life

Photo by Natasha TyleaNatasha TyleaWhen Baltimore duo Wye Oak first came onto the scene in 2008 with their debut If Children, I felt they had all the necessary traits to attain most favoured band status – gorgeously melodic and melancholic songs built on a solid foundation of noise and twang – but didn’t pull it together quite enough to knock it out of the park. That they would do so, however, was a question of when and not if.

“When” would be the very next year with their much more dynamic and assured second album The Knot, which delivered on all the promise of the debut and then some, and this year’s My Neighbour/My Creator EP which affirmed that though they’d arrived, they weren’t slowing down even a little.

So expectations for album number three are pretty damn high, and we’ll find out if they’ve been met or exceeded come March 8, when Civilian is released. Falling short is not an option, and from the sounds of the first released MP3 – the title track of the record – there’s no worries on that count. It encapsulates everything that’s great about Wye Oak, starting out quietly folkish, and led by Jenn Wasner’s vocals, builds into an epic guitar freakout that should seem otherworldly given the song’s starting point but feels perfectly natural. Am I keen on this release? Yes.

Merge has details on the album and Winter tour dates, which will include a February 1 appearance at The Sound Academy in Toronto in support of The Decemberists.

MP3: Wye Oak – “Civilian”

And speaking of The Decemberists: while their next album The King Is Dead, out January 18, is apparently a step back from the high concept folk-rock opera of The Hazards Of Love, Colin Meloy’s apparently not done telling stories in song. In conversation with Billboard about the new record, Meloy mentions that he’s talked to a Broadway director about a future project.

Shearwater, with whom Wye Oak toured with when they visited back in the Spring, will be heading into the studio to make a new record this Spring but first, Matablog reports via a note from Jonathan Meiburg that they’ll be playing their last three releases – Palo Santo, Rook and The Golden Archipelago, aka “The Island Arc” – in order and in their entirety at Austin’s Central Presbyterian Church on January 15. I usually have a baseline state of mind of wishing I was in ATX, but I’d especially like to see that – for those of us who can’t, though, Matador has assembled a digital sampler from the three records just to remind us what we’ll be missing. Thanks. The Oklahoma Daily talks to Meiburg about islands.

MP3: Shearwater – “Red Sea, Black Sea”
MP3: Shearwater – “Sing, Little Birdie”
MP3: Shearwater – “The Snow Leopard”
MP3: Shearwater – “South Col”
MP3: Shearwater – “Castaways”
MP3: Shearwater – “God Made Me”

Superchunk make their long-awaited return to Toronto tonight, and the local media is ready to greet them. eye sends Nick Hune-Brown of local popsters Hooded Fang to interview ‘Chunk guitarist Jim Wilbur and also talk to drummer Jon Wurster about how he spent his hiatus. NOW and aux.tv also get to chat with Wurster. The Detroit News has a piece with frontman Mac McCaughan.

NYC Taper has got audio of Jeff Tweedy’s solo show in New York earlier this week available to download.

Low are giving away a live EP in exchange for your email address. A fine way to get reacquainted before their new record C’Mon arrives early next year.

The first MP3 from J Mascis’ forthcoming solo acoustic record Several Shades Of Why is now available to grab over at Sub Pop. The record comes out March 15 and it looks as though he’ll be at Canadian Musicfest in Toronto the week before.

The New York Times has assembled fourteen short films of actors… acting, soundtracked by Owen Pallett. It’s cooler than I make it sound. Some background on the project at their Lens blog.

NOW dedicates this week’s cover story to The Sadies, who continue their tradition of ringing in the New Year at the Horseshoe this coming December 31. The Press has a conversation with drummer Mike Belitsky.

The Line Of Best Fit and The New Zealand Herald chat with Carl Newman of The New Pornographers.

And also at The Line Of Best Fit is a new Oh! Canada compilation, this one extra special as its a holiday-themed one with a tonne of exclusive seasonal tracks by folk like Basia Bulat, Woodpigeon and Evening Hymns. Even if you don’t like holiday music – and between you and me and the internet, I don’t really – it’s a must-have.

By : Frank Yang at 8:28 am
Category: General

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RSS Feed for this post2 Responses.
  1. david says:

    I wanted to like Wye Oak as well but found them incredibly dull. Same with Beach House. It seems to be that modern indie bands have no trouble cultivating the right assemblage of influences (bit of noisy post punk, some shoegaze,etc) but have enormous difficulty writing memorable songs or having any charisma whatsoever. See also Beach Fossils. zzzzzz.

  2. Carolann Funes says:

    Your distinctive writing style is something to be admired. I have learned a lot from it.