The duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, known in the indie music scene as Wye Oak, have been bending and merging musical genres for over a decade. Touches of folk, rock, electro-pop, ethereal vocals with deep hook-laden guitar simmer across their landscape. With six albums under their belt and countless side projects, they never stop exploring.
From Wasner’s experimental side project, “Flock of Dimes”, sharing the stage and touring with Bon Iver, to Stack’s work with Sylvan Esso and his own project, Joyero, it’s true that a standstill doesn’t exist. Even in times like this.
Wye Oak recently culled together an amazing playlist for us, titled: "THE HOUR IS LATE: Relaxing music for the end of your day/the twilight of the human experiment, you pick." Read on for our interview about life both off and on the road. And of course, they released their new EP titled "No Horizon" (7/31) which you can listen to here: Wye Oak - No Horizon.
What do you miss most about not being able to tour right now?
The karaoke bar and casino across the street from the Red Lion Hotel in Redding, CA. Just kidding. Um, let's see...friends, food, doing the thing I love to do more than anything, meeting people, seeing the world, and having a job? I'd power through a thousand disco-load-outs just to have the chance to feel connected to the world in this way again.
Do you have any new hobbies you've picked up while spending this much time around home?
My new hobbies consist of: trying (and mostly failing) to feed myself, trying (and mostly failing) to keep plants alive, cleaning things that are already clean, and realizing that I’ll never be good at anything other than making music and might be absolutely and utterly screwed! Oh, and yoga.
What are 3 things you always have with you on the road?
1. Good shoes. Getting out and exploring whatever city we’re in is one of the great joys of touring, and also one of the things which keeps us sane.
2. Voice Recorder (aka my phone) to capture ideas, melodies, cool ambient sounds to sample later, or other incoherent ramblings. The opening piano sound from the album The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs came from a piano being tuned at a venue in London, recorded onto my phone.
3. Steely Van, our trusty steed. This year we treated ourselves to “STEELYVN” vanity plates. Money well spent, obviously.
Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Meow Wolf in Santa Fe was the first place to pop into my head. It’s like playing a show inside of a psychedelic dream scape.
Author/artist/musician that has influenced you the most?
We’ve been asked this question in some form or other an awful lot, and I always come back to Arthur Russell. Ultimately because his catalog is so wildly varied and stylistically diverse, and yet always has this through line of emotional resonance that feels so distinct to him. He followed his heart and refused to let his multitudes be contained or reduced. What more could you possibly ask for from an artist?