The great Baltimore duo Wye Oak are no longer a Baltimore duo, as both members of the band have left town. (Jenn Wasner now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, while Andy Stack has relocated to Marfa, Texas.) And they no longer make the sort of soothingly stormy slowcore of their early days; instead, their sound has turned into a tricky, synthy soundscape. But the band is still driven by a simmering internal tension and by Wasner’s dazzling vocals. And both are very much in evidence on The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs, the band’s fifth album, which comes out later this week.
Wasner and Stack wrote and recorded The Louder I Call in a series of relatively short stints in both of their adapted hometowns, and the LP has a patched-together quality that recalls the band’s last proper album, 2014’s Shriek. But where Shriek was a radical departure, a sort of impressionist take on pop music, The Louder I Call finds the duo bringing back at least a bit of the guitar-rock catharsis of their first three albums.
The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs is out 4/6 on Merge.