Wye Oak - The Knot
Debut album If Children saw the duo of Andy Stack and Jenn Wesner draw significant critical acclaim for their shoegaze-inspired melancholy. This follow up builds on that goodwill by being a collection of comforting, yet sometime funereal missives that seem channeled from ghosts long dead.
The songs themselves draw more significantly on Americana this time round. 'Take It In' sits atop a Spacemen 3 one-beat, building to crescendoes of slide guitar and distortion before Wesner's voice peals like a church bell, ringing out a mournful melody. On 'Siamese', she is Karen Carpenter-sweet, while a cello tries to saw through the backwards guitar that swirls throughout. 'Talking About Money' may bring to mind Rilo Kiley with its chiming central section, before the album takes another twist with the layered voices of 'Tattoo' adding a Fleet Foxes-like, spiritual air to proceedings that conjours up notions of broken down country churches and graveside tears.
The pace may test the patience of some and, overall, the album perhaps lacks the breakout track required to properly crossover, but if you ever spent winter nights wrapped in blankets, being soothed by the likes of Madder Rose or Mazzy Star, The Knot will see you safely through this year's leaf fall - and beyond.