Wye Oak

Wye Oak

Luke Temple

Tue · October 3, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Southgate House Revival-Sanctuary

$15.00 - $18.00

This event is all ages

Wye Oak
Wye Oak
Wye Oak announce shows and limited-edition rarities 7-inch in September

At the end of September, Wye Oak will embark on a special tour. The band describes what the audience can expect at these performances:

We’re so excited to set out on a brief run of smaller, more intimate shows this fall, where we’ll be trying out a bunch of brand-new material for the first time, taking questions from the audience, and just generally exposing y’all to our legendary brand of TMI-style stage banter. Come for a sneak peek at what’s next for us, or just to say hi.

Also, on September 22, Merge will release “Spiral” b/w “Wave Is Not the Water”, a limited-edition 7-inch on red vinyl. Pre-order your copy now! Jenn and Andy told us a little about each track, both of which were originally released in partnership with Adult Swim:

“Spiral” popped up around 2012, at a time before we began work on Shriek. We were just starting to experiment with synthetic and more pop-oriented sounds, and also got assistance on the marimba from our friend Rod Hamilton, with whom Jenn was sharing a loft at the Copycat in Baltimore at the time.

“Wave Is Not the Water” was created in the early months of 2017, without either of us ever setting foot in the same space. Andy was touring as the drummer for Lambchop and volleying the recording back and forth with Jenn via email, as seems to be the current state of things.

Pre-order “Spiral” b/w “Wave Is Not the Water” now, and don’t miss these very special evenings with Wye Oak!


Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack of Wye Oak have spent most of their lives in Baltimore, Maryland. But after two years of constant touring with Civilian, their highly lauded 2011 album, they landed on opposite sides of the country with an unforeseeable future ahead. Despite this newfound uncertainty, the two bandmates embraced their physical distance, passing ideas back and forth, allowing new work to evolve in their respective solitudes. Shriek is Wye Oak’s fourth full-length and the culmination of their intent to express the emotional and intuitive self by acting out animalistic exclamations through cathartic release. It is their most personal and confident declaration yet.

Newly inspired by playing bass, Jenn took up songwriting in a setting where the guitar did not dictate harmonic boundaries or require a call-and-response relationship with her voice, a hallmark of previous Wye Oak records. With her phrasing freed, now it is often Andy who interacts with Jenn’s vocals, playing syncopated and meditative keyboard parts, and the duo’s collaborative arrangements provide a backdrop in which both the arcs of melodies and the new rhythmic elements flourish. Here there is a new clarity in Jenn’s voice and a fervent resoluteness in Andy’s feel, and gone are the distorted guitar swells— in their stead are patterns, like mantras, of layered pianos and synths that meld the roles, and various instruments, of both players.

To engineer, mix, and co-produce, they brought in Nicolas Vernhes of the Rare Book Room in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, whose inventive and forward-thinking approaches to production complemented their new direction. The result is a record of indisputable humanity. Shriek is a complete narrative of disorientation, loss, renewal, and empowerment. In the beginning, “Before” serves as a sonic bridge between Civilian and Shriek, and a capsule of the harried moments of movement and travel, of documents with no memories. Treading deeply, “The Tower” is an indictment of the burden of expectations—and if there is any evidence of the years Jenn and Andy have played together, it can be heard in the way their bass and drums dance around each other as if they are shrugging off a great weight. Just when it becomes necessary to break open, “Glory” cries out for the need to abandon inhibitions in the face of desire.

But the emotional core of Shriek is the stunning ballad “I Know the Law,” where Jenn, in the act of purging her own feelings of helplessness, and in the face of a myth constructed out of the needs of others, writes and sings here with a touch of the divine. It resonates with a universal understanding of the solemnity of life but also with the empowerment of someone who has put her own personal cosmos in order.

Wye Oak is immense. Like their thunderous live shows, in which they build up love, terror, and loss in one moment and then tear them down in the next, they have created a record that explores the personal struggle for peace—but within the instinctive, unconscious mind. If Civilian was the album that made mountains surge, oceans swell, and desert high plains ever more vast, then Shriek is the album that sounds the infinite depths of our inner space.
Luke Temple
Luke Temple
I want to call Luke Temple a disciple of Hank Williams and Roger Miller. I want to call him an avant-garde traditionalist. I want to say he’s got an unmatched intuition for the askew. I want to say his only real contemporary peer is another master songsmith named Cass McCombs. I could make a pretty infallible case for any of these statements. But at the end of the day, it’d be adding too many bells and whistles to what his new album is. At its core, it’s one of the year’s most stunning folk records. You should just let Temple’s high-and-lonesome salve of a voice raise your goose-pimples from their dormancy. You should let his insightful, devastating lyrics make tiny, tender tears in your soul.

A Hand Through the Cellar Door is, in many ways, Temple’s most straightforward collection of song-storying tunes to date. There are tales of dysfunctional, broken homes and of dysfunctional, broken people. “Birds of Late December,” with its fluttering, nimble fingerpicking, paints an exacting but impressionistic portrait of divorce through the eyes of an exceptionally wistful child. In both “Maryanne Was Quiet” and “The Case of Louis Warren” we follow two characters whose lives unravel in very different ways, though their central question is the same: After you shed all the things you think make you who you are, what is left? Temple is creating small, confident stories with a massive scope - like a good Alice Munroe story. Album standout “The Complicated Men of the 1940s” is a thought experiment concerning the sacrifice of a passing generation, where the heroes of yesterday seem like the stuffy, old guard to a new generation that’s grown just a bit too entitled to their comfort.

But this being Temple and all - the creative mind behind Here We Go Magic - nothing is really ever so straightforward. The arrangements, kept to a minimal drums/guitar/bass/string set-up here, expand and contract in unexpected ways.Temple writes with the eye of a painter like Eric Fischl. Whereas Fischl will put a subtle provocative image in the margins of a piece to create a feeling of imbalance, Temple will add a guitar hiccup or a just-behind-the-beat string section to create a sensation of everything being slightly off. And in that imbalance, both artists show us grace. Yes, while the tales Temple weaves are bleak, the aura of hope never quite fades from the picture. He turns the tragedies of human folly into a celebration of our eccentricities.
Venue Information:
The Southgate House Revival-Sanctuary
111 East 6th Street
Newport, KY, 41071