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The Baltimore-based indie rock duo Wye Oak, Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, released their third album last week. The ten-track album, Civilian, was among the most anticipated in 2011 and lived up to those expectations.
Like Beach House (another Baltimore based male-female duo), Wye Oak engages heavily in trance-like effects that sound larger than just the two-person lineup. Wye Oak stands apart, however, with its attention-grabbing volume. So it’s more than appropriate when the leading track, “Two Small Deaths,” opens with ambient chatter that is abruptly cut off by steel guitar and electronic effects.
Wasner’s guitar wailing and range grab attention in other tracks, too. Listen to the elegantly played out chords of “Doubt,” her Sonic Youth-esque snarl in “Holy Holy” and well-played figures in “The Alter” to hear her magnificent power.
Other standouts include the title track, "Hot as Day" and "Dog Eyes."
Wye Oak took a big step forward, created a more complex sound and produced its best album yet. Stick around because the band is only going to continue to grow.
Listen and be captivated from beginning to end.
Listen to the title track, "Civilian":