News, Reviews

Wye Oak Share New Single “I Learned It From You” – “Every Day Like the Last: Collected Singles 2019-2023” out 23rd June on Merge

June 1, 2023
Press shot by Graham Tolbert

WYE OAK

Share new single “I Learned It From You”
Every Day Like the Last: Collected Singles 2019-2023’ out June 23rd on Merge

Wye Oak, the Baltimore duo composed of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, share “I Learned It From You,” the haunting new single from their recently announced upcoming release, ‘Every Day Like the Last: Collected Singles 2019-2023’. The collection of brand-new songs and previously released tracks made between 2019 and 2023 is out June 23rd on Merge Records.

“This song is about unconsciously recreating dysfunctional patterns, and about the exhaustion and despair that comes from realizing that awareness alone isn’t necessarily enough to save you from repeating your past,” Wasner explains. “The metallic sound in the intro is the sound of Andy pulling down the metal door of our storage unit practice space (which we would open between takes to get some fresh air from the hallway). Conveniently enough, the hallway also functioned as a perfectly serviceable reverb. Later, our friend Joseph Decosimo recorded the fiddle parts with Andy at Doom Homestead.”

Wye Oak commence this dramatic opening to their soaring composition. Weaving delicately layered and placed resonating vocal harmonies against the very powerful key changes and striking piano notes. The weight of this arrangement consumes you, a striking exploration that quickly grows and expands with such crucial elements and textures, surrounding the expressive harmonies as they add such sincerity to the complex landscape. The atmosphere alters and adapts, hypnotizing the audience, as they fixate on the voyage and the fragility of the ambience that surrounds them

The nine songs on ‘Every Day Like the Last’ came from a period where Wye Oak were in flux after a decade-plus of steadily releasing albums and touring. Sonically, the collection represents Wasner and Stack getting back to basics. Balancing the organic and the artificial, using electronics and programming to add new textures.

Forging into the unknown can be terrifying—but, as Wasner notes, sitting with precarity or unfamiliarity can result in new frontiers being blown wide open. 

“There’s been so much uncertainty in our lives,” says Wasner. “Not just our lives personally, but everyone’s—and a big part of my life has been learning how to live inside of uncertainty, and not feel like my own emotional discomfort requires that I have to figure out, or attempt to figure out, how everything is going to be.”

When 2020’s JOIN tour, which brought along three other musicians to fully bring Wye Oak’s catalog to life, unfortunately got cut short, Stack’s and Wasner’s work on other projects led to the two rethinking how Wye Oak worked. 

“We both were feeling not wanting to be tethered into the machine in the way that we had been for so long,” says Stack. “We just wanted to be able to make stuff in the room. And when we were able to do that, the aspirations shifted, because we were able to exercise this other muscle that we hadn’t in a long time.” 

‘Every Day Like the Last’ also documents Wye Oak shifting from thinking of its work in album-length groups of songs to dealing in singles, a format shift that wound up documenting their creative method in something close to real time. “Something that felt exciting to me was being a little bit more fleet-footed and light about being able to put things out into the world,” says Wasner. “A lot of these songs, we would write them and record them and then they’d come out a couple of weeks later, which, to me, just sort of feels so much more in line with how the creative process works and feels on our end of things.” 

The nine songs on ‘Every Day Like the Last’, which were recorded in Wasner and Stack’s current home state of North Carolina and Virginia at venues that include Stack’s backyard studio, comprise the singles Wye Oak has released since 2019’s glowing “Fortune” plus three new songs. While it wasn’t conceived the way an album traditionally is, these songs coalesce because of the way they examine and grapple with ambiguities, which is reflected by the dual meaning of the title and its attendant track, a pensive, suspended-in-midair track that contemplates the importance of human connection. 

“Every Day Like the Last—that could mean every day like the day that came before, or it could mean every day like the last day that you get. Both meanings apply,” says Wasner. “But for me, trying to live inside of the uncertainty is the theme. That is the thread that ties all the songs together—tolerating the discomfort of not knowing.” 

As Stack notes, the songs on Every Day Like the Last were written and recorded during a turbulent time—not just for him and Wasner individually, but for the world at large. “Trying to find comfort in the unknowing resonated with me a lot, and I feel like that is a thread that has run through everything—finding cheer in the doom of the world,” adds Stack. “Things have been tumultuous in so many different ways over the last four years while we’ve been [making these songs]. Both our lives have undergone extreme changes on an individual level, not even thinking about on the larger level of what everyone’s going through.”

“That’s like the weighted blanket of the album for me,” says Wasner. “It’s just like, we’re all fucking floating in space. Nobody knows what’s happening. If you find someone or something that can offer you some kind of solace and some kind of reassurance, that’s all that really anyone can hope for. There are so many songs where I’m dangling in space, and that song is a plea for reassurance. Which we all so desperately need.” For more than 15 years, Wye Oak have offered comfort to their listeners in the form of warm, expressive music that has showcased their ever-growing maturity as players and people. ‘Every Day Like the Last’ captures them at a moment when they realized the strength of the bonds they’ve forged—and even though they aren’t sure where their individual and collective journeys will take them next, these nine songs act as a signal that figuring things out along the way can result in beauty. 

.

‘Every Day Like the Last: Collected Singles 2019-2023’ will be released on June 23rd via Merge – pre-order here.
 
Track list:
1. Every Day Like the Last
2. I Learned It from You
3. TNT (originally released May 2021)
4. Its Way with Me (originally released June 2021)
5. Fortune (originally released November 2019)
6. Evergreen (originally released February 2021)
7. Fear of Heights (originally released Jan 2020)
8. Walk Soft (originally released Feb 2020)
9. Repeat (If You Remind Me) 

https://www.wyeoakmusic.com

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.