Wye Oak – “Fear Of Heights”

Over the last year, Wye Oak have given us a couple standalone tracks, as Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack pursued other projects following the tour behind 2018’s The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs. First there was “Evergreen,” an Adult Swim single that felt like a lost gem from Wye Oak’s earlier days. Then there was “Fortune” in November, a track that synthesized the best of old and new Wye Oak. (Both songs ranked amongst our favorites in their respective weeks.) And today, they’re back with another one called “Fear Of Heights.”

“Fear Of Heights” is the latest piece of new material leading up to Wye Oak’s JOIN tour this spring, for which the duo is expanding their lineup and expanding their catalog, bringing in songs from each of their solo endeavors. Here’s what Wasner had to say about the new song:

This song’s central metaphor likens the deepening of a relationship to the feeling of ascending to the top of a very tall place. There’s something to be seen (or learned, or experienced) once you arrive, but for some there is also a fear that increases with every step upwards. You say it’s worth it for the view, but it’s impossible to know if that’s true until you get there to see it with your own eyes.

Both the JOIN tour and these new songs come out of a new development in the lives of Wye Oak — for the first time since 2012, the two of them live in the same place. It’s supposedly revitalized their creative connection, and you can really hear that — all of these new Wye Oak songs are so fucking good. This band always operates at a high level, but it’s still great to hear them return with material this strong. “Fear Of Heights” is a bit more of a pretty meditation than the more intense “Fortune,” but it’s every bit as good. Check it out below.