For ‘The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs’, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack flew to one another’s cities – she in Durham, North Carolina, he in Marfa, Texas – for a week or so at a time, hunkering in home studios to sort through and combine their separate song sketches. These shorter stints together produced less second-guessing and hesitation in their process, yielding an unabashed and unapologetic Wye Oak.
They discarded past rules about how to write a record, instead funneling all those experiences and experiments into perfectly unified statements. The result is the biggest, broadest, boldest music Wye Oak has ever made. Louder pursues a litany of modern malaises, each of its dozen tracks diligently addressing a new conflict and pinning it against walls of sound, with the song’s subject and shape inextricably and ingeniously linked. It arrives at a time of immense doubt, when our personal problems are infinitely compounded by a world that seems in existential peril. But these songs answer the challenge by radiating self-reflection and resolve, wielding hooks and musical intricacy as a shield against the madness of the moment.
The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs contains the biggest, broadest, boldest music Wye Oak have ever made, and today, the duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack provide a song that exemplifies the band at their most enlightened.
The title track of The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs – the triumphant fifth album by Wye Oak – is a coil of anxiety and exuberance, its verses and chorus sweeping into cascades of magnetic harmony. By the time the song ends, it has bloomed into an undeniable pop anthem, a spell to be shouted against the ills of our world. Press play for proof!
During the intoxicating It Was Not Natural, a weary walk through the woods unearths a discarded antler, a talisman that provokes deep questions about our work lives, social codes, and romantic mores. The music – a sophisticated tessellation of pounded piano and loping bass, scattered drums and chirping synthesizer – is as complex and ponderous as the issues themselves. “It Was Not Natural” is Wye Oak at their most sophisticated, navigating life’s difficulties with the nuance and power they demand.
Jenn Wasner offers the following: “This is a story about finding an object of uncertain origin whilst walking through the woods. Or, if you’d rather: it’s about exploring the space between the things that we are socialized to believe about ourselves, and the actual truth of our nature – learning how to push the limits of the systems we’ve put in place to help ourselves make sense of chaos.”