Wye Oak If Children

Wye Oak If Children
Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack are Wye Oak, a wonderful Baltimore duo who pour their heart equally into the eclectic songs on If Children. Whether bubbling over with pop zeal on the storming "Warning” or emoting within the measured tones of "Family Glue,” Wasner possesses a stern fragility. A kind of resiliency emerges in both the lyrical imagery of songs like "Please Concrete” and the stark phrasing of the surprisingly forceful "I Don’t Feel Young,” both helmed by Wasner. Though their roles aren’t hard and fast, Stack is the damaged Romeo-boy here, turning his Elliott Smith on for "Regret” but presenting his voice unfettered (Wye Oak are big on multiple vocal tracks) for the tender "A Lawn to Mow.” The spacey duet "Archaic Smile” lies somewhere between the Byrds and Pink Floyd, and Wasner lets Stack’s voice wash over hers with more complementary results than the obligatory pop rock of "Orchard Fair.” Overall, Wye Oak’s passions are well placed and ring out on the unassuming If Children. (Merge)