To start things off this Music Monday, we're featuring one of our favorite new-ish bands—Baltimore's Wye Oak. We went to a CMJ showcase a couple years ago to see Cut Off Your Hands (whom we reviewed WAY back when) and were caught off-guard when we were floored by the duo that makes up the spremely un-duo-sounding Wye Oak. They sway and swoon through songs, blowing them up to rocking, sonically-impressive heights and then pulling them tightly in to tiny wisps of emotions that endear you as a listener and as a human being. The drumming of multi-instrumentalist, Andy Stack, and guitar-playing of Jenn Wasner are both superb and work well with the surprisingly unique-but-familiar-sounding song-writing, but the real driving force of the music is Wasner's voice. Honest, exposed, and beautiful, it gives the lyrics a gravity that swallows you whole.
Stack + Wasner are releasing their third album, Civilian, on Merge Records March 8 and it's title track is our Song of the Week. Check it out. You will love it. We personally challenge you not to love it. When you're done loving it, head over to NPR, where you can stream the whole album for free until it's release next week.