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The Knot CD

Price: £9.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon's Wye Oak Store


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"nervy, charged music, buzzing like a brain in heat" — Pitchfork

"atmospheric and vivid" — SPIN

"Wherever Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack follow their muse, it’s going to be good." — Stereogum

Wye Oak

Jenn Wasner and ... Read more in Amazon's Wye Oak Store

Visit Amazon's Wye Oak Store
for 5 albums, 12 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

The Knot + If Children + SHRIEK
Price For All Three: £26.74

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Aug 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Affairs Of The Heart
  • ASIN: B002FU5S4G
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,797 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

Wye Oak were given perhaps their biggest leg-up to date by their American label, Merge Records – possibly most closely associated with Arcade Fire, who this Baltimore duo have been compared to, although they bring little of that band’s arena-rock bombast.

However, it’s the imprint through which they release records in Europe, Affairs of the Heart, that’s the most aptly named. The Knot, the second Wye Oak album after 2008's well-received debut If Children, concerns itself lyrically with relationships – specifically, how people get into them, the routines and responsibilities that arise and, in short, ‘the knot’ that ties us to others.

Their taste for rocking out is brought to the surface here, where previously it had bubbled under. For Prayer lurches, quite unexpectedly, into a sizeable bout of spacey hard-rock riffing, contrasting abrasively with the lightheaded drift of the song otherwise, yet Wye Oak get by on a natural fluidity and inherent songwriting nous. That I Do builds winsome gloom around crashing drums and the lyric, “It’s true / You love me too / But not the way that I do”.

There’s something of the Bella Union-signed Beach House about Wye Oak, not only in the fact they’re a male-female duo from Baltimore, but also in their melding of shoegaze amp-fuzz with cruising, 70s-dipped radio rock. As such, both bands follow in the footsteps of American indie cornerstones like Yo La Tengo, Low and Galaxie 500. The Knot is not a triumph of originality, then, but it seems unlikely it was ever intended to be; moreover, clustered amidst the ten songs are moments which elevate them above mere nth-generation American indie – a splash of pedal steel here, a burst of transcendent drone there, keening, sawing violin on I Want for Nothing.

Wye Oak tread a fairly recognisable path on The Knot, and as such are more of a possible wildcard pick for people who don’t count the bands already mentioned in this review among their absolute favourites. If you do, however, this album – whose actual execution it’s very hard to find fault – may push several of your buttons. --Noel Gardner

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joseph D on 12 Jan 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am glad I stumbled on this duo, their music is wonderful and Jenn Wasner has a beautiful voice, full of emotion and feeling. They are a duo from Baltimore, Maryland and I can't remember how I heard about them, but I am glad I did. Their music is warm and full of great guitar sounds, very atmospheric, great melodies. Well worth trying.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Barbed Sophmore Album 21 Dec 2009
By Harsh Texture - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Knot finds Wye Oak strengthening their songcraft and moving their interplay into more muscular territory. The little legend goes that the group's debut "If Children" was recorded before the band became a touring unit. The songs featured precious multi-tracked vocals and hinted at Phil Elvrum's safest Microphones work. By the release of "The Knot", Wye Oak found their identity as an exceptional live band and started writing songs with performance in mind. The resulting feels a little more country than folk, quite a bit more of the loud-soft dynamics, but the noise builds into white hot squalls not mainstream neo-grunge singalongs. Stack & co also found the best way to record Wasner's vocal tracks: lonesome in light reverb, the Chan Marshall treatment. A good reference point would be Deer Tick's more rough songs (a group they often tour with) except with knowing, somber vocals.

The tepid reception from the press struck me as odd. Its as though the national writers pegged Wye Oak as a sister band to (fellow Maryland/Baltimore act) Beach House, and couldn't appreciate a solid "indie-rock" platter from the group.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Best of Baltimore 9 April 2010
By SterlingPhil - Published on
Verified Purchase
I know I'm supposed to really like Beach House, but Wye Oak is a far better exemplar of the music of Baltimore. This is one I can listen to over and over and not get bored. A very unique and warm sound.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Knot a sleeper 14 Sep 2009
By Shawn A. Conner - Published on
The Knot is definitely a grower. The songs are deceptively simple, or maybe deceptively complicated--v. melodic folk/pop overladen with Jenn's guitar textures. "Siamese" is one of the best tunes on here, but I also love the way the first three tracks flow into each other.
Still a great album 15 Dec 2014
By bk - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album has been out for five years, and I still have it on heavy rotation. It's a sullen, relatively downbeat album, but every step of that is counteracted by other aspects, which keeps it from being like The Cure in their 40bpm days. Even on the downtempo songs, the rhythm section continues to move forward, and a lot of the songs are even danceable. The relationship songs are about uneasy relationships, but none are breakup songs.

In another world, Jenn is singing songs about how she loves you like a love song in her warm, sonorous voice, but here she is singing somewhat more Baltimore-at-night lyrics, sweetly crooning about how "they found a body in my back yard", or how "I keep my keys...between my fingers./ Don't hold back./ Hit him right between the eyes." Such a lovely voice.

Yeah, "Siamese" nails its mood perfectly.
Impressed 21 Feb 2011
By Ryan G - Published on
I saw this band open for The Decemberists a few weeks back. Even though the lead singer / guitarist Jenn Wasner had what seemed like a seriously sore back, her and Andy Stack (fellow bandmate) put on a pretty impressive show. Thats right - there are only two people in this band, but you would never realize that by just listening to the album.

When I saw them, I was impressed by their songs that would start off as slower burns only to produce some great guitar riffs that filled the whole venue. Andy Stack drums and plays the keyboard at the same time - it was not only effective, but awesome! This band has some serious talent and I am looking forward to picking up their next album.
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