Ahead of March show, Wye Oak releases new song, mini-doc

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Credit: Kendall Atwater.

We’re only 11 days away from Wye Oak’s homecoming show at 2640 Space, and Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack are back with another new track, “Walk Soft,” plus a six-minute documentary with the band members explaining their creative process.

Let’s start with the song, a sparse-yet-rich track that puts Wasner’s voice front and center over ambling guitar, drums and keys that slowly build into a coda that heightens the instrumentation without managing to overwhelm.

Listen below:

In a statement, Wasner said the lyrics (the opening lines: “What is the view? / Does it belong to you? / Do you see the same blue as I think I do?”) reflect a sort of trepidation that comes with surrendering yourself to a relationship.

“When I was younger, I used to work at a stable taking care of horses. I thought they were the most beautiful animals on earth, and seemingly so gentle, so it took me a while to learn that they could also be dangerous, if only because they were so much bigger than I was,” she said. “Love is like this, too—the bigger it feels, the more power it holds. True beauty should be frightening.”

There’s also a short documentary out today ahead of the JOIN tour, which promises to have a full backing band, reworked versions of old Wye Oak tunes and songs from the respective side projects of Wasner and multi-instrumentalist Andy Stack, Flock of Dimes and Joyero.

In the film, they explain how their writing process is even more collaborative than the stage show lets on, with both members switching places from their better-known roles of guitar (Wasner) and percussion (Stack) when they write and record.

The addition of three backing musicians–Buke and Gase’s Arone Dyer, Landlady’s Adam Schatz and Spacebomb collective member Pinson Chanselle–allows for an even more versatile live show, they said.

“It puts us in a position where we can ask ourselves, with no restrictions, with no limitations, What do you want to do? What would be most thrilling or most enjoyable just from the standpoint of someone who wants to play music and experience fully what they’re making?” Wasner explained.

Since last November, the band has released three singles, “Fortune,” “Fear of Heights” and “Walk Soft,” taking an approach of putting out new material almost as soon as it’s done.

“A lot of the work that we’re doing right now is trying to explore how you can make music from a place of sheer joy,” Stack said.

Watch the full doc here:


Brandon Weigel

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