Wye Oak, 'Shriek' (April 29th)
Baltimore two-piece Wye Oak almost didn't release their newest effort, or anything at all. According to vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jenn Wasner, the exhausting record cycle for the 2011 release, Civilian, almost ended the project for good. "The year that record came out, we played 200 shows," she says. "And I pretty much melted down after that." The band took a break as Wasner stayed in Maryland to regain her creative strength and her musical partner Andy Stack moved to Oregon. Soon Wasner found herself abandoning the wailing guitar flourishes from previous efforts and writing more on the piano while Stack added parts from across the country. The result is by turns dream ("Schools of Eyes"), expansive ("I Know the Law") and, ultimately, triumphant ("Logic of Color"). "I was in a very strange place when I started this record," says Wasner. "In a lot of ways this record is kind of about what it took to write this record."