Music Hall of Williamsburg
Wye Oak

Wye Oak

Callers

Thu, September 20, 2012

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

$17 advance / $20 day of show

This event is 18 and over

Wye Oak
Wye Oak
The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs—the triumphant fifth album by Wye Oak—begins with an explosion. For a few seconds, piano, drums, and a playful keyboard loop gather momentum; then, all at once, they burst, enormous bass flooding the elastic beat. “Suffering, I remember suffering,” sings Jenn Wasner, her voice stretched coolly across the tizzy. “Feeling heat and then the lack of it/But not so much what the difference is.” The moment declares the second coming of Wye Oak, a band that spent more than a decade preparing to write this record—its most gripping and powerful set of songs to date, built with melodies, movement, and emotions that transcend even the best of their catalogue.
Louder is the third record that Wasner and Andy Stack, who launched Wye Oak in Baltimore, have made while living in separate cities—she in Durham, North Carolina, he in Marfa, Texas. They flew to one another for a week or so at a time, hunkering in home studios to sort through and combine their separate song sketches. These shorter stints together produced less second-guessing and hesitation in their process, yielding an unabashed and unapologetic Wye Oak. They discarded past rules about using just guitar or keyboard to write a record, instead funneling all those experiences and experiments into perfectly unified statements. The result is the biggest, broadest, boldest music they’ve ever made. The title track is a coil of anxiety and exuberance, its verses and chorus sweeping into cascades of magnetic harmony. By the time the song ends, it feels like a real pop anthem, a spell to be shouted against the ills of our world.
Louder pursues a litany of modern malaises, each of its dozen tracks diligently addressing a new conflict and pinning it against walls of sound, with the song’s subject and shape inextricably and ingeniously linked. The rapturous “Lifer,” for instance, ponders perseverance and survival in times of profound struggle. It is, at first, hesitant and ponderous, Wasner wrestling with her own choices. But her ecstatic guitar solo leads into a chorus that feels like a triumph over doubt, or at least a reconciliation with it. “Over and Over” finds Wasner alone at home, watching clips of violence abroad on repeat, her outrage outstripped only by her ineffectiveness. Stack’s colossal circular rhythm and Wasner’s corroded harmonies conjure a digital hall of mirrors, a place where we can see all evil but do nothing. During the intoxicating “It Was Not Natural,” a tired walk through the woods unearths a discarded antler, a talisman that provokes deep questions about our work lives, social codes, and romantic mores. The music—a sophisticated tessellation of pounded piano and loping bass, scattered drums and chirping synthesizer—is as complex and ponderous as the issues themselves. “It Was Not Natural” is Wye Oak at their most sophisticated, navigating life’s difficulties with the nuance and power they demand.
For all the struggles Wye Oak confronts here, Louder ultimately reflects a hopeful radiance, with the parting sense that human connection and our own internal resolve can outweigh even our heaviest worries. The final two tracks are tandem testaments to weakness bowing to strength. Wasner first shuffles through her day during “Join,” beset by worry until she finds a way out. “I just want a clear head,” she realizes at the end, “the sun on my shoulder.” And during “I Know It’s Real,” over twinkling guitars and a drum beat that feels like a steadying pulse, she stumbles upon a necessary credo: “Still, I’m alive, stronger than energies riding on my back.”
The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs arrives at a time of immense doubt, when our personal problems are infinitely compounded by a world that seems in existential peril. But these dozen songs answer the challenge by radiating self-reflection and resolve, wielding hooks and musical intricacy as a shield against the madness of the moment. The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs is a powerful reminder to keep calling, to keep trying, no matter the peril it poses. Merge Records will release The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs TK TK, 2018.
Callers
Callers
Reviver is a statement on power, rhythm and beauty. The third LP from Callers, made up of long time collaborators Sara Lucas and Ryan Seaton, will be released on October 9th on Partisan Records.

While Sara grew up enveloped by R & B, Motown, gospel and jazz in St. Louis, Ryan was 400 miles away in Little Rock, nurtured by a community of eccentric artists and musicians, collaborating on ad hoc punk shows by the riverbank. Both musicians intuitively grasped the commitment to craft in their peers and mentors, shaping their purpose to create a strong, clear statement of their own.

New Orleans was the place that brought them together, the place where their first song was recorded over a landline, their first EP from a mic hanging on the ceiling fan. Sara’s freedom of expression, her ease of phrasing, the effortlessness and transcendence of her voice drew Ryan to working with her, while Sara was undeniably drawn to his vast arrangements, particular style, and grasp of musical realms.

Providence emerged as the hub for support and sustained creative advice, a second EP recorded amongst ghosts in the attic, and the source of collaboration with Keith Souza and Seth Manchester of acclaimed recording studio Machines with Magnets (Battles, Fang Island, Psychic Paramount.) Finally, Brooklyn became the city they now call home, leading to the creation of two LPs, Fortune and Life of Love.

With Brooklyn also came transition: after offering a new interpretation on Life of Love and Reviver, Don Godwin amicably moved on from the project at the latter’s completion. Meanwhile, Keith and Seth’s involvement in the production and development of Reviver thrived, ultimately inspiring them to join the band.

Reviver stands as the most fully realized vision Callers has as artists. Influenced by the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks, ‘Heroes’ and ‘Reviver’ capitalize on a fierce spirit with driving rhythms and a hardened determination, while ‘Good Years’ and ‘Your Finest’ emphasize grandiose crescendos, idiosyncratic melodies and the complexity of surprise. On the album’s title track, one witnesses the satisfaction and strength they feel by attaining clarity: “We are older than ourselves / I’m your Reviver.”
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249
http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/