Wye Oaks’ Delicate and (Very) Weird Playlist

What’s This Playlist All About? The Baltimore indie duo compiles a list of favorites in anticipation for their latest album for Merge Records, The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs. Planning to expand the list, they encourage you to follow along, “if you’d like to know who’s helping us make sense of our joy and sadness as we drag our sorry asses down life’s highway.”

What You Get: An indie-leaning mix that’s delicate on the outside and weird and wily on the inside. Hear dusky classics from Yo La Tengo (“Saturday”) alongside soft, sumptuous reflections and twitchy disco celebrations from experimental great Arthur Russell (“That’s Us/Wild Combination” and “Let’s Go Swimming – Gulf Stream Dub,” respectively). That latter song seamlessly segues into newer disco-and-R&B flavored grooves from Here We Go Magic’s Luke Temple (“Katie”) and eventually Wye Oak’s own sweeping synth soundscapes (“The Louder I Call the Faster It Runs”).

Greatest Discovery: Not only a fantastic title, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s 11-minute burner “Existence in the Unfurling” breathes and broods with beautiful diligence, unfurling from a dark, Fever Ray-ish meditation to serene ambient sounds that slowly build into a frisky synth-classical climax.

How Does This Mix Reflect The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs? It’s a wonderful companion to the album, which finds the band growing out of their indie-folk roots to incorporate more expansive and experimental sounds. Synth and ambient innovators like Laurie Spiegel and Laraaji have clearly influenced their still guitar-centered melodies. It’s a similar evolution to that of fellow Baltimore band Beach House (who, naturally, is featured on this mix).