Tuesday, 31 May 2011


I don’t know about the readers of The Whiteboard Project, but I often find myself in quite specific musical moods which only a few artists will satisfy. When Wye Oak’s new single ‘Fish’ landed in my inbox, it just so happened to hit the spot perfectly. A colder, reflective end to a hot day, my sunburnt knees still smarting, wrapped in crochet on the patio, soundtracked by Jenn Wasner’s haunting alto. Although Wikipedia helpfully labels the Maryland duo as peddlers of ‘indie folk rock’, ‘Fish’ presents a darker side than your Johnny Flynns and your Goldheart Assemblies put together. A steady pulse and deep piano murmur lays the track’s foundation with layers of delicate guitar and Jenn’s velveteen vocal creating a full, lush sound akin to Beach House and Lykke Li’s ‘Wounded Rhymes’. An almost scuzzy buzz underlines the chorus, contrasting with the soaring vocal to marry with Andy Stack’s crashing cymbals. Perhaps the most refreshing thing about Wye Oak is that it all seems so effortless, you can feel it all wash over you, sink into your veins as Jenn breathes ‘ghost of your bones’ like a warmer, richer Romy Madley Croft. Gorgeous, dark, mellow, sounds from this Baltimore duo.

Just one question: Wye Oak, where have you been all my life?

Written for The Whiteboard Project

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