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Wye Oak: My Neighbor/My Creator

Merge

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For a two-piece that isn't Lightning Bolt, Wye Oak boasts a remarkably thick, luxuriant sound. On their brief but stirring new EP, My Neighbor/My Creator, the Baltimore duo foregoes the trappings of much of that city's recent Wham City output — party synths, spastic beats, animal yelps — for a tender, direct sound that emphasizes the band's strengths. Singer/guitarist Jenn Wasner's doleful voice achingly cuts through to the forefront of each track, a flawless counterpoint to drummer/keyboardist Andy Stack's graceful rhythms and lush layerings. Like their neighbors Beach House, Wye Oak allows their songs to slink along, revealing engaging sound personalities as they unfold. But Wye Oak operates with a much tighter focus. The last track, a Mickey Free remix of their song "That I Do," is a clumsy afterthought that doesn't really work, at least not here; but it only serves to amplify the awesomeness of the four songs prior. More, please. 4 stars out of 5

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