Ten years after its release, Wye Oak’s Civilian remains a raw, sinewy punch of a record bleak and intense and lonely and self-assured all at once. The album unravels with the sort of self questioning and uncertainty that come with youth, and its specific confidence in unflinchingly probing all of those emotions, feeling them to their deepest extent even when it’s tearing you apart at the seams. When Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner released Civilian, it marked both the ascension and death of Wye Oak, or at least a version of it. Now, a decade later, Civilian and Cut All the Wires: 2009–2011 delves back into that pivotal record and adds a lost album of unreleased tracks and demos to Civilian’s universe.
Cut All the Wires: 2009–2011, a 12-song collection of rare and unreleased tracks and demos culled from the Wye Oak archives, is an extension of the bruised and aching Civilian. Sonic paradoxes abound: the mellow “Sinking Ship” is preceded by the wall-of-sound grunginess that roars through “Half a Double Man.” A pared-down acoustic Daytrotter live session of “Two Small Deaths” dovetails into the jangling “Holy Holy” demo. The closing lyrics over the frenetic, screeching feedback of “Electricity” lend the anniversary release its title.
10th anniversary edition, 2LP green swirl vinyl
Wye Oak - Civilian | Cut All The Wires 2009 - 2011