Credit: Dan Stack.

In Wye Oak, Andy Stack creates the percussive and atmospheric underpinnings of the band’s sound, sometimes using one hand to play the drums while the other controls a keyboard.

Stack and guitarist/vocalist Jenn Wasner, who cut their teeth and found a national audience while in Baltimore, have pushed their sound to more experimental territory, adding in a mix of synths and electronic tones.

The spirit of experimentation is also present in “Salt Mine,” the first track from Stack’s solo side project Joyero. (“Sounds like Joy Arrow. Or Joy Air, Oh!” he says in a statement.)

Backed by a pulsing beat, droning tones and a looping drum pattern, Stack sings about the vast desert landscape of his new home state, Texas, but also a lingering sense of uncertainty. In his own words, the song “draws on lingering physical paranoias, persistent truths which keep coming in spite of the barriers that we erect.”

And he promises “more songs about paranoia coming soon, so stay tuned!”

Listen to “Salt Mine” here:

YouTube video

It’s not yet clear if a full Joyero album is in our immediate future, but Wye Oak’s label, Merge Records, said the project has found a home with them. And there are social media accounts to follow.

Stack will be playing these new songs on the road during a European tour, where he’ll be pulling double duty opening for and playing as part of the alternative country band Lambchop.

He’ll also play a set at Merge’s 30th anniversary festival in Carrboro, North Carolina, on July 27.

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Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore...