Concert Preview: Wye Oak comes to 9:30 Club
Although it’s a while off, Vox highly suggests you check out Baltimore-based band Wye Oak, which is coming to play a show at 9:30 Club on Tuesday, May 6.
The two artists that make up indie synth rock duo Wye Oak are Baltimore natives Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack. Wasner and Stack have been playing music together and individually in Baltimore for most of their lives. Officially, they came together in 2006 to form their first project called Monarch, which later became Wye Oak, named after the former state tree of their home state of Maryland.
Wye Oak released their first full length album independently in 2007, after which they were signed by Merge Records in 2008. Through their first album, entitled If Children, Wasner and Stack got a lot of recognition for being a band that earnest but sophisticated. As Pitchfork Media described, Wasner and Stack “aren’t fashionable or sexy, but don’t wear humility for a pity vote; they’re earnest without expecting a pat on the back for it,” which is refreshing in a time where music acquires fame through flash, fashion, and drama.
As Merge Records describes their sound, it is 21st-century folk music, “imbued with dense shoegaze guitars, nearly melodic rhythms, and impeccable splashes of electronic color.” This might be misleading though, as you might expect to hear something to the likes of Beach House or previously previewed D.C. band GEMS. However, what we hear from Wye Oak is a lot of overwhelming energy, and many times, a lot of noise.
Their most recent album, Civilian, is notable for shocking listeners with unanticipated energy and distortion. Wasner and Stack are talented in their ability to switch between quiet and loud, gentle and rough, beautiful and unpleasant, which is apparent throughout Civilian. Watch Wasner and Stack perform title song “Civilian” live on KEXP above.
Vox promises you won’t regret taking the time to see Wye Oak, not to mention that you may even be happy you took a break from the books! What’s better than just a couple hours of R&R during finals week? Purchase tickets for $22 here.