Wye Oak – “Electricity”

Wye Oak – “Electricity”

Earlier this year, Wye Oak’s breakthrough album Civilian turned 10. The band has kept plenty busy since then between a pair of one-offs and Jenn Wasner’s latest Flock Of Dimes album, but they’re now ready to properly commemorate Civilian with a reissue of the album that comes with a full-length compilation of unreleased tracks and demos called Cut All The Wires: 2009-2011, which collects some ephemera from the early years of the band.

First up from that is “Electricity,” a jittery and driving track that the band played live a few times but eventually decided to put in the vault. Here’s Andy Stack on how the new compilation came together:

After playing “Electricity” in live shows for a year or so around 2009, we made a studio recording but never mixed it, and ultimately decided to shelve the song. And so, it was relegated to the dustbin of time, AKA an old hard drive which I did not unearth until 2020 when I came looking for old photos and other memorabilia from the Civilian era. On my old drive, I found a treasure trove of material which we had both forgotten ever existed—original demos, live versions of the songs, and, most exciting, a bunch of fully realized studio recordings from this era which never saw the light of day. On “Electricity,” I was really bashing the drums in a way that I never would now, and I hear that same abandon in Jenn’s singing. The recording has much of what defined the first phase of Wye Oak: an urgent push and pull between chaos and beauty, and a hard-hitting attempt to push out as much sound as we possibly could from our duo setup. It’s not who we are anymore, but I still relate to the old feeling, and I still get goosebumps when I listen to these recordings. Everything old is new.

Listen to “Electricity” below.

Cut All The Wires: 2009-2011 TRACKLIST:
01 “Replacement”
02 “Civilian” (Demo)
03 “No Words”
04 “Electricity”
05 “Half A Double Man”
06 “Sinking Ship”
07 “Two Small Deaths” (Daytrotter Session)
08 “Holy Holy” (Demo)
09 “Pardon”
10 “Black Is The Color”
11 “Ten Fingers”
12 “I’m Proud”

The Civilian reissue and Cut All The Wires is out 10/22 via Merge. Pre-order it here.

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