When Wye Oak announced the release of their fourth album, Shriek, the Baltimore duo stated that no guitars appear on the record. The statement raised some eyebrows–Wye Oak has made its name on dynamic, guitar-heavy indie rock, and frontwoman Jenn Wasner has carved out her own idiosyncratic six-string style. But prior to recording Shriek, Wasner and drummer/keyboardist Andy Stack found themselves on opposite coasts, writing songs apart before molding them together. For Wasner, bass became her preferred instrument, and the songs soon took on more of an electronic, dance-influenced direction.
While Shriek doesn’t see a release until April 29, Wye Oak debuted the new sound live at the Four Seasons with us during SXSW 2014. Wasner doesn’t view the shift in direction as too crazy; after all, she’s merely switching tools, not voice. Songs like the beautiful “Shriek” are bigger and bolder, but they’re still given that characteristic Wye Oak edge. It sounds great in the live setting, making the full record that much more anticipated.