Bittersweet, expressive folk-rock plucks heartstrings on Baltimore duo Wye Oak's album The Knot.
Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, the guitar-and-drums duo known as Wye Oak, recorded their debut album, If Children, in basements and bedrooms in and around their beloved Baltimore, and riddled their brand of indie folk-rock with waves of distortion. For their second effort, The Knot, the band eased up on the shoegaze in favor of polished, chamber-pop arrangements, and it paid off. Wasner’s voice shakes and towers like a young Chan Marshall, a nervier Liz Phair, or even (gasp) Sarah McLachlan (if the Lilith Fair had been a bit more indie rock). On the slow grind of “Mary Is Mary,” Wasner and Stack pull desperately hard on the heartstrings (note: playing this song on repeat following a breakup is not recommended). But “Sight, Flight,” the anthemic closer, leaves the lovelorn listener with hope that she’ll tie her own knot someday.
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.