11 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Originally released under the band name Monarch, Wye Oak’s If Children has been reissued by the prestigious Chapel Hill-based independent label Merge to better expose this early 20-something Baltimore duo’s disarming shoegazer pop. Drummer Andy Stack and multi-instrumentalist Jenn Wasner investigate a sound far grander than their sparse numbers suggest. Though recorded in basements, apartments and studios throughout the fall and winter of 2006, the tunes’ random assemblage enabled the duo to slowly flesh the arrangements out with keyboards, hyper-intensified guitar tones that contrast from gentle strumming to solid walls of ambient groan, and rolling waves of vocal harmonies that recall the smooth tranquility of Ida (“Archaic Smile”) and other slo-core adherents. Tunes such as “Warning” and “Regret” retain their folk roots, adding dream-like reverb for the feeling of gentle twilight. Wasner’s double-tracked vocals (“Family Glue”) create childlike warmth (much like early Cat Power) as the orchestration builds to climax. “Orchard Fair” adds rhythmic punch along the squalls of feedback.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Originally released under the band name Monarch, Wye Oak’s If Children has been reissued by the prestigious Chapel Hill-based independent label Merge to better expose this early 20-something Baltimore duo’s disarming shoegazer pop. Drummer Andy Stack and multi-instrumentalist Jenn Wasner investigate a sound far grander than their sparse numbers suggest. Though recorded in basements, apartments and studios throughout the fall and winter of 2006, the tunes’ random assemblage enabled the duo to slowly flesh the arrangements out with keyboards, hyper-intensified guitar tones that contrast from gentle strumming to solid walls of ambient groan, and rolling waves of vocal harmonies that recall the smooth tranquility of Ida (“Archaic Smile”) and other slo-core adherents. Tunes such as “Warning” and “Regret” retain their folk roots, adding dream-like reverb for the feeling of gentle twilight. Wasner’s double-tracked vocals (“Family Glue”) create childlike warmth (much like early Cat Power) as the orchestration builds to climax. “Orchard Fair” adds rhythmic punch along the squalls of feedback.

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