Last week, indie rock band Wye Oak digitally released their fifth studio album, Tween, via Merge Records. Physical copies of the eight-track LP will be released on August 5, 2016.
Songs on Tween were written between the time of the band's 2011 album Civilian and 2014's Shriek. Personnel on the release are Jenn Wasner (Guitar, Bass, Lead vocals) and Andy Stack (Drums, Percussion, Synthesizer).
Jenn Wasner shared with The Village Voice about why these songs weren't included on their previous albums:
It’s not that we didn’t like or weren’t excited by them, it’s just that they didn’t fit with the concept ... Making a record [is] similar to writing a novel. There’s an overall aesthetic, and you make decisions based around wanting something cohesive. And sometimes, you have songs that are [like] short stories, that don’t fit into that bigger picture. It didn’t make me want to release any less — it was just that they never found a home.
Their label Merge Records has another interesting perspective:
Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack — the band’s two halves — described these songs as “not emblematic of a step forward, but a step sideways in time.” In other words, they just don’t make sense for album number five — which will happen at some point in the future. But just because they don’t belong there doesn’t mean they don’t belong anywhere. To wedge them onto Shriek would’ve been dishonest; to orphan them would’ve been somewhere on the line between criminal and just plain silly.
There are some interesting tracks here, and different members of the Zumic staff called out "If You Should See," "No Dreaming," "Too Right," "Better (For Esther)," "On Luxury," and "Watching the Waiting" as our favorites. This material isn't necessarily as strong as the band's two most recent full album releases, but there is good stuff here for fans to enjoy.
Pick up Tween on Amazon. You can also stream the full album above for free, via Spotify.
For more music, news, and tour information about Wye Oak, check out their Zumic artist page.