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iTunes Review

Rolling Stone magazine noted that Baltimore is “becoming our nation’s hub for soft-focus synth pop,” citing groups such as Future Islands, Beach House, and Wye Oak as prime examples. This might come as a surprise to fans who remember Wye Oak from their previous album, 2011’s Civilian, where they kept themselves rooted in tradition with guitars that gave them a yin-yang of folk and shoegaze textures. But with 2014’s Shriek, the duo of singer Jenn Wasner and keyboardist/drummer Andy Stack have tossed the six-strings for full-time synths, and the pop aspect is just a natural output when melodies are as light as the ones heard on the title track. “The Tower” works with a fighting rhythm, but “Glory” surrenders to the automation that makes electronics work. Wasner’s vocals are the true standout here. Her flexible approach turns the usual arpeggiated arrangements behind “Sick Talk,” “Despicable Animal,” and “Paradise” into a world of goth, pop, and diva worship all into one. 

Customer Reviews

Get Ready

Judging by by their last album, this LP is going to be absolutely fantastic. The new sound in "The Tower" is very intriguing, and I can't wait to here what the rest of the tracks have to offer. Get ready.

Very nice!

I think I've definitely become a fan. The minimal beats & haunting music bring relaxation... and that's exactly what I like. Better yet, some tunes can give me a slight capability to jam out as well.

all in all it's just hella rad :~)

Give it a chance

First listen wasn't feeling it, but the album has really grown on me. 5 stars and loving their new sound. Support them people!


Formed: 2006 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Wye Oak, a Baltimore-based indie rock duo comprising Jenn Wasner (guitar, vocals) and Andy Stack (drums, keyboards, vocals), took their name from a symbolic 460-year-old tree in their home state of Maryland. Formed in 2006 under the moniker Monarch, Wasner and Stack recorded their first album in varied spots, bouncing around various basements and apartments, eventually landing a record deal with indie heavyweight Merge. The label would go on to release the act's 2008 debut, If Children, as well as...
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Shriek, Wye Oak
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Customer Ratings