Wye Oak are an indie folk rock duo from Baltimore, Maryland, USA, composed of Andy Stack (drums, keyboards, backup vocals) and Jenn Wasner (vocals, guitars). Their sound has been described as “earnest folk-influenced indie rock with touches of noise and dream pop”. Wasner sings lead vocals and plays electric or acoustic guitar, while Stack plays both drums and keyboards, playing the drums with his feet and right hand, and the bass line with his left hand.
“we found ourselves both in Baltimore and decided to start a band. It started out two of us playing together, actively searching for other bandmates. But eventually realized it wasn’t going to happen..but also we could do it our own way, just the two of us. With a little bit of work and effort. So, we’ve been playing as a 2-piece with drums, keyboard, bass, guitar. It seems to be going pretty well I guess. I dunno…what else as far as bio…We both live in Baltimore, Hampden now.” – Jenn W
The band was formed as Monarch in mid-2006, before changing their name to Wye Oak, a reference to the former state tree of their home state of Maryland. They released their first album If Childrenindependently in 2007 and subsequently signed to Merge Records in 2008. The label re-released If Children that year, and a second album, The Knot, followed in 2009.
“for us right now, we really prefer to keep it small. As far as our schedules, it’s already hard enough to find time to rehearse, practice, write and play when we’re living in Hampden and there’s just 2 people’s schedules to coordinate. I can’t imagine trying to incorporate a third person” – Jenn W
I’ve found that since we started playing with this setup I’ve kind of started writing songs with the setup in mind. The idea of how we’re gonna have to play it is always in the back of my mind. It changes the way the notes come out. If you try and do it one way, and you think that way works, then it’s not gonna work. As soon as you start thinking too hard about it, the whole thing just goes completely out the window. You’ve got to be on the line of being serious about it but also somewhat relaxed, otherwise you can scare away the creative process if you’re too uptight. – Jenn W
Their new album Civilian was released in March 2011 via Merge Records in the US and City Slang in Europe.
Check out their Dot Com for more info @ http://www.wyeoakmusic.com/
By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland |@shaynewithMWL| Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC