Positive reviews of Wye Oak’s first two albums group the Baltimore duo into indie rock subgenres with compounds like dream-pop, shoegaze and psych-folk. Writers use words like “autumnal,” “soothing” and “swelling” to describe the music. But if their new EP is any indication, singer/guitarist Jenn Wasner and drummer/keyboardist Andy Stack are eager to branch out beyond this delicate praise.
The final song on the five-song collection, “My Neighbor/My Creator,” even features a rap! It’s on a remixed version of “That I Do,” one of the more somber songs from last year’s “The Knot.”
“I feel like it bangs, but it doesn’t lose any of the emotional resonance of the original song. It still very much captures what I was going for when I wrote it,” says Wasner. “I love it, but I think people were like, ‘Why do you have a rap?!’ and I was like, ‘God, you guys need to get over yourselves. Because it’s fun!’”
Fun is definitely not a word used in any of those previous reviews, but the group is growing into an energetic entity, even recently recording a cover of the regional dance hit “Dance My Pain Away,” originally done by Rod Lee.
“I really wanted to bring more attention to that song and Baltimore club music because I love it,” says Wasner. “I listen to probably more hip-hop and club music and R&B music more than anything right now.”
So does this mean that their next full-length will be a full crossover into that terrain? Absolutely not.
“We don’t really want to make the same record more than once,” says Wasner.