Wye Oak, “Glory”

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 03.17.14 in Listen to This

Wye Oak’s first three full-lengths were characterized by a sense of starkness. Particularly on 2011′s Civilian, the group’s power has been drawn chiefly from the tense push-pull between Jenn Wasner’s bare, scraping guitar work and her full, pleading voice. So it’s a surprise to hear “Glory,” the first single from the forthcoming Shriek. It’s fuller and more propulsive than the band has ever sounded, powered by a percolating bass line, its background full of blinking electronics and blanketed with digital haze. It seems directly informed by Wasner’s recent electropop side-project Dungeonesse, idly flirting with dance music’s skittish rhythms. It’s a confident step forward, moving the band into new directions while retaining their spirit and soulfulness.