It is rare that a musical act has the guts to change their sound after building critical acclaim for a certain timbre, but that is exactly what Baltimore duo Wye Oak has done on their fourth album Shriek.
Their prominent guitar/drum driven sound (on the previous 3 albums) has been reinvented with guitarist vocalist Jenn Wasner abandoning the guitar for bass and synthesizers. Drummer Andy Stack continues to play pounding rhythms with one hand and foot while his other side provides melodic keyboard.
The fresh approach has paid off as Shriek is currently a national college radio favorite hitting number one on the CMJ album chart. The recording features 10 tracks of Wasner's strong vocals backed by a neo 90's electropop feel. Some tracks even remind me of a 21st century Eurythmics.
While there are still some electric guitars on board, they are used as the occasional splash of noisy color. The album is built around swooning banks of synths, bleeping key-based melodies, Stack's choppy drum patterns and programs, and Wasner's bouncy basslines.
I don't know how long it will be up but currently the entire Shriek record is available to listen to on YouTube at this link. You can judge for yourself if this Wye Oak is up to par.