Wye Oak, ‘Shriek’: A Bold Reinvention, Sans Guitar

Wye Oak's new album, 'Shriek,' is out on Merge. (Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist)
Wye Oak’s new album, ‘Shriek,’ is out on Merge. (Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist)

Let’s get this out of the way: There’s no guitar on this album. When Wye Oak revealed this tidbit last fall, many of us surely wondered what the Baltimore duo might even sound like without one of its most important elements. After all, the delight in Wye Oak’s music has always come from the interplay between Jenn Wasner’s blustery voice, her glorious cyclone of guitar riffs and screaming feedback, and skillful multi-tasker Andy Stack, who plays drums and keyboards — and on stage, simultaneously. But after the success of 2011’s Civilian, and countless tours performing within that “indie rock” format, it’s understandable that they’d feel restless and creatively blocked, and need to blow it up to start anew.

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