Wye Oak - Civilian

The opening moments as keyboard drone fades in over background chatter give an instant signpost of the wistful pull of this, the third album from Wye Oak. Riding over a backwash of fuzz and reverb, Jenn Wasner's voice is deceivingly soothing, words at times obscured as though muttered in a cave. It's a neat trick, making you dive in with her to discover the answer to many puzzles. Anyone familiar with their previous output will know it was marked by understated intimacy. This manages to start there - and then soar considerably. They intersperse muted recesses with raw guttural guitar lines to great effect, recalling Rust-era Neil Young. As it squalls and pounds through ‘Holy Holy’ before stopping for brief moments to bring us the simple scales of ‘Dogs Eyes’ or the burbling chant of ‘Plains’, this is turned into some roller coaster. Title track ‘Civilian’ is perhaps the most accessible, rooted in rolling country blues; it’s a song about the alienation of the everyday – we all pretend to be ordinary ‘civilians’ but are prevented by our own perversities and fetishes – adults keeping their own 30 year old baby teeth in a jewellery drawer and rendered incapable of love. ‘Doubt’ is a suitable coda, a simple echoing refrain adorned by plucked classical guitar, a brave finish. Seriously, this is the best thing I've heard in six months. Classic.




out of 10

We need your help

Running a website like The Digital Fix - especially one with over 20 years of content and an active community - costs lots of money and we need your help. As advertising income for independent sites continues to contract we are looking at other ways of supporting the site hosting and paying for content.

You can help us by using the links on The Digital Fix to buy your films, games and music and we ask that you try to avoid blocking our ads if you can. You can also help directly for just a few pennies per day via our Patreon - and you can even pay to have ads removed from the site entirely.

Click here to find out more about our Patreon and how you can help us.

Did you enjoy the article above? If so please help us by sharing it to your social networks with the buttons below...

Category Quick Fix

Latest Articles