Wye Oak Share Lyric Video for New Song "Lifer" and Jenn Wasner Essay on the Song | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Wye Oak Share Lyric Video for New Song “Lifer” and Jenn Wasner Essay on the Song

The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs Due Out April 6 via Merge

Mar 27, 2018 Wye Oak
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Wye Oak (Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack) are releasing a new album, The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs, on April 6 via Merge. Previously they shared its title track (which was our #2 Song of the Week), as well as a video for “The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs,” and the atmospheric “It Was Not Natural” (which was also one of our Songs of the Week). Now they have shared another song from the album, “Lifer,” which starts off deliberately paced before it erupts around the two-minute mark. Wasner has also written a lengthy statement about the song. Listen below, followed by the statement and the band’s upcoming tour dates.

Here’s Wasner’s statement on the song:

“For some people, it is much harder to stay alive than it is for others.

The basic cruelty of this fact has been with me-hovering at the edges of my consciousness, often threatening to take over-for pretty much as long as I can remember. For each auspicious turn that my life has taken, I’ve always been conscious of how easily I could have ended up in a different situation, of how many things had to line up perfectly in my favor for me to be sitting here, writing to you. Sure, I work hard, and I’m moderately talented-but a lot of people do, and are. When you look at the facts in a broader context, it’s impossible to deny the reality that I’ve been very, very lucky.

Addiction, depression, and mental illness run in my family. I’m an anxious person, but my particular psychological weight is manageable, bearable-certainly not all-consuming or life-threatening. That’s genetic luck. I dropped out of college to play music when I was 20, and somehow the very first thing I made (with the person who is still my main collaborator and creative partner) got heard and released by the record label we’re still working with, over ten years later. That’s luck, too.

To be a creative, sensitive person is to be aware of the world around you-in an immediate sense, and in a global sense. Injustice is everywhere. Suffering is the norm for the vast majority of people on the planet. Throughout my life, this reality reflected itself to me from great distances, in the lives of strangers, and in the experiences of the people closest to me. And yet, while I watched those around me suffer, some invisible force seemed to have settled around me, protecting me from the same fate and dropping gifts of good fortune unceremoniously into my lap. I was always the lucky one. And along the way, my brain took a feeling that should have manifested as something like extreme gratitude and turned it into overwhelming, soul-twisting guilt.

I am an idealist, and a perfectionist-a tricky combination. From the deepest place inside of me, I believe that all people are deserving of equal happiness, and that a person’s self-worth is not determined by their ability to work or make money or hit any of the major checkpoints for success that our society has deemed acceptable. We all know that the world is not a perfect place, or anything even remotely approaching fair. And my first instinct when faced with something flawed is not to fix it, or to figure out some kind of compromise-my first instinct is to destroy it. Burn it down. So my attempts to align my internal beliefs with my behavior-to not play along with the shallow ambition and achievement-based value system that we’ve put into place for ourselves-has often manifested in my life as unintentional self-sabotage.

I wrote this song after a long conversation with a friend-someone who loves me and wants to see me succeed, and let go of this burden of guilt that I’ve been dragging around for my whole life. While I wrote it, I was thinking about the people in my life who have had to struggle much harder than I do, or likely ever will-just to stay alive. For a moment, I saw everything differently than I ever had before-I was able to accept and be grateful for the gifts I had been given. I was able to forgive myself for having so much more than so many others. And I made a deal in my mind with those others: If you can keep trying to choose life, and find joy, in the face of all of these obstacles, well, then, so can I. This song contains that promise. It’s called ‘Lifer.’ I hope you like it.

-Jenn Wasner

March 2018”

To record the album Wasner and Stack took turns visiting each other’s cities (Durham, North Carolina for Wasner and Marfa, Texas for Stack) for a week at a time.

A previous press release described the album as such: “The result is the biggest, broadest, boldest music Wye Oak has ever made. Louder pursues a litany of modern malaises, each of its dozen tracks diligently addressing a new conflict and pinning it against walls of sound, with the song’s subject and shape inextricably and ingeniously linked. It arrives at a time of immense doubt, when our personal problems are infinitely compounded by a world that seems in existential peril. But these songs answer the challenge by radiating self-reflection and resolve, wielding hooks and musical intricacy as a shield against the madness of the moment.”

In 2016 Wye Oak surprise-released the excellent Tween, a mini-album on Merge. Wasner released her debut full-length album under her Flock of Dimes solo project, If You See Me, Say Yes, the same year via Partisan.

Wye Oak Tour Dates:

Apr 06 Iowa City, IA - Mission Creek Festival
Apr 20 Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Noord
Apr 21 Rotterdam, NL - Motel Mozaique Festival
Apr 22 Luxembourg, LU - De Gudde Wellen
Apr 25 Berlin, DE - BiNuu
Apr 26 Prague, CZ - MeetFactory
Apr 27 Vienna, AT - Fluc
Apr 29 Zurich, CH - Bogen F
May 01 Brussels, BE - Les Nuits Botanique @ Rotonde
May 02 Paris, FR - Le Pop Up
May 03 London, UK - Village Underground
May 04 Manchester, UK - The Deaf Institute
May 05 Liverpool, UK - Liverpool Sound City
May 06 Dublin, IE - Whelan’s
May 09 Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
May 10 Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
May 11 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
May 13 Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
May 14 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
May 15 Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Steel
May 17 Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
May 18 Milwaukee, WI - The Back Room at Colectivo
May 19 St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
May 20 Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
May 21 Kansas City, MO - Record Bar
May 23 Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
May 25 St. Louis, MO - Ready Room
May 26 Louisville, KY - Zanzabar
Jul 11 Salt Lake City, UT - Metro Music Hall
Jul 13 Portland, OR - Revolution Hall
Jul 14 Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore Cabaret
Jul 15 Seattle, WA - Neumos
Jul 17 San Francisco, CA - The Independent
Jul 18 Oakland, CA - Starline Social Club
Jul 19 Los Angeles, CA - Lodge Room
Jul 20 San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
Jul 21 Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom
Jul 23 Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf
Jul 24 El Paso, TX - Lowbrow Palace
Jul 27 Birmingham, AL - Saturn

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Clara Montalvo
February 1st 2019
3:09am

Amazing! Jenn’s essay has a wonderful personal statement! I liked it a lot, so thanks for the news. This well-written essay even made me check out some of the song titles and I actually found is very inspiration. Even though I’m more of an old jazz fan, but the vibes that musicians were trying to give to listeners actually very good and compelling.

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