Tag Archives: Jenn Wasner

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Wye Oak Wow Webster Hall with a New Album and a New Sound

May 8th, 2014

Wye Oak – Webster Hall – May 7, 2014

Wye Oak – Webster Hall – May 7, 2014
After heavily touring in support of their previous album, Civilian, Wye Oak, the indie-rock duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, retired to their respective homes for a much-deserved break. With Wasner in Baltimore and Stack in Portland, Ore., the distance provided a different way of collaborating and uncovered a new sound. Wasner traded in her guitar for a bass, while Stack assumed his place behind synthesizers rather than a drum kit.

With the time off, their roles reversed. As Wasner explained in an interview, “It basically inverts what we were responsible for. Andy was playing drone-y basslines on keyboard. Now he’s responsible for the more upper register stuff that guitar would normally handle, while I’m playing basslines on a bass guitar.” Tossing aside the indie-folk label, the pair returned with their audacious new album, Shriek, to a welcoming crowd at Webster Hall last night. Opening with the new tune “Before,” Wasner took to her bass while Stack added some darting synths. It was a grand introduction to their new sound, and it was quickly accepted by the audience.

Shriek could be the summer soundtrack for lazy, hazy afternoons lounging by a pool or laying out in the park—perfectly exemplified by the slow-burner “The Tower,” while the title track that followed offered choral-like vocals. Not to disappoint fans, the pair played “Holy Holy” and “Plains,” from their breakout, Civilian. Wasner expressed their excitement to play the renowned venue before launching into “Spiral,” a one-off for Adult Swim’s Singles Program. Digging even deeper into their back catalog, the duo treated old fans to “Take It In” and “That I Do,” off 2009’s The Knot. With a quick exit and prompt return for an encore, Wasner announced they’d do a cover, Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” before closing the performance with crowd-favorite “Civilian.” —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Ahron Foster | ahronfoster.com

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Wye Oak Bring Brand New Material to Webster Hall Tomorrow

May 6th, 2014

Jenn Wasner (vocals and bass) and Andy Stack (drums, keys and vocals) formed the rock duo Wye Oak after returning home to Baltimore from college nearly 10 years ago—the name comes from the gigantic state tree of Maryland. They initially made music as Monarch, but the two moved on to bigger things with the name change and the release of their third full-length, the guitar-centric Civilian (stream it below), which the A.V. Club named the top album of 2011: “Maybe it’s 2011’s darkest album by the band with the brightest future.” Last week, Wye Oak (above, performing “Glory” at this year’s Coachella) returned with their fourth LP, the acclaimed Shriek (stream it below), eschewing guitars (Wasner now plays the bass) for synths. And again the folks at the A.V. Club showed some love: “An album that expresses ‘the nagging thought that I had never lived, or else forget’ ought to inspire Wye Oak to keep on living—guitar or no guitar—especially one this good.” Wasner and Stack are now touring North America in support of their new album, and you can see them tomorrow night at Webster Hall. Braids open the show.

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Sharon Van Etten and Friends Play Town Hall Tomorrow Night

November 14th, 2012

Like many before her, Sharon Van Etten came to New York City from New Jersey in order to make music. And despite her East Coast upbringing, Van Etten sings of Middle American—universal, even—themes, but she does so in her uniquely powerful voice. The talented singer-songwriter has put out three folkie albums, including this year’s acclaimed Tramp, which Rolling Stone says “plays like a female version of Beck’s Sea Change.” The album was a bit of an all-star affair, with appearances by the National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and a host of others. And when Van Etten (above, doing “Give Out” for Minnesota Public Radio) plays Town Hall tomorrow night, she’ll be joined by Aaron Dessner and Wasner, plus Thurston Moore, John Moloney, the Antlers’ Peter Silberman and Megafaun’s Brad Cook.