Wye Oak is recognized for its largely guitar-driven melodies heard on the album Civilian, but the band is departing from what it knows best for its upcoming album. The forthcoming album, which does not yet have a name, is due for a 2014 release via Merge Records.
According to Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, the songs on the record will “basically invert what [the band is] responsible for,” avoiding guitar altogether and focusing on different kinds of instrumentation.
“The idea was really appealing to me because we had sort of hit a wall, just with the complete and total excess of touring that we had done, the use and overuse of that format,” Wasner said in an interview with Spin. “It tainted the guitar for me and I was finding it really, really hard to get anything out of it from a writing perspective.”
The band decided to change gears, exploring new musical techniques for this follow-up to their 2011 album Civilian because the guitar felt “too tired,” like “too much baggage.”
Wasner, who used to serve as Wye Oak’s primary guitarist, has now begun to play bass—a new direction for the band, according to drummer and keyboardist Andy Stack.
“Instruments can interact with each other in different ways that we’re not used to,” Stack commented. “We never had a bass player in the band, or, at least, the bass that we’ve had in recordings in the past has been a secondary thing. When you start having bass be a primary compositional instrument, it interacts with everything else differently.”
The duo remarked that they realized that the decision to shift their sound for the upcoming record could lead to some backlash from fans. However, as Wasner noted, there is no “amount of hate and vitriol and backlash that could make [them] not love it.”