Wye Oak

Wye Oak

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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. These songs were originally 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. Eerie and dreamy, a complicated, unpredictable amalgamation of thoughtful lyrics, steely glints of synths and effects, lithe guitar lines, and the depth of Wasner’s voice, it all unfurls with the ease of any Wye Oak song, built out by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ presence, their tangle of crystalline voices presenting like an orchestral arrangement.

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