“We’ve always really enjoyed the organic next to the synthetic and the beautiful next to the ugly,” says Wye Oak‘s Andy Stack; that’s the perfect summation of the contrasts that persist through Shriek. Ugly cover, beautiful music; mostly electronic instrumentation that’s completely warm, sensuous and inviting; unexpected directions—the first song’s opening synth notes seem to announce Vince Clarke, but by the time you open the door it’s someone else standing there (which is about the laziest analogy ever); hiccuping beats—like the rhythm in “The Tower” which constantly alternates emphasis between the 2-4 and the 1-3—that are kept grounded by the pulsing synths and Jenn Wasner’s gorgeous singing. The songs are mostly based on finding a comfy, dreamy groove and experimenting with the melodies, layers and dynamics within that framework; I’d listened to the album a number of times before noticing the lack of standard verse/chorus/middle 8 structure. Highly recommended.

Buy it here.

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    Category

    Favorite Albums of 2014