Wye Oak: My Neighbor / My Creator

Atmospheric indie-pop

After releasing their second album, The Knot, just last year, this Baltimore duo returns with a five song EP that adds new dimension to their guitar-and-drums indie-pop. The quiet-loud contrasts, downbeat mood and buried vocals are replaced by a more outgoing tone on the opening “My Neighbor,” a romping waltz that sounds like a modern-rock version of Fragile-era Yes. The quiet/loud is reversed with the hard-charging verse and sedate chorus of “Emmylou,” driven by manic guitars and harmonica that give way in an instant to a cool moment of closing flute; it feels like a television station signing off with the national anthem cutting to a test pattern . Jenn Wasner’s vocals are audible but the lyrics still remain elusive; “I Hope You Die” has moments of aggression in its tone, but also an emotive air of contemplation, so it’s anyone’s guess if the title is hateful, ironic or something else. A closing remix of “That I Do” breaks the original’s mood of measured confrontation with a rap section that feels intrusive. The added layers give these productions a thickness one wouldn’t usually expect from a duo, but there are sparse moments to remind you this is a duet rather than an ensemble – a conversation amid the din of a manufactured crowd. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]

MP3 | I Hope You Die
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