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by Wye Oak
Civilian by Wye Oak
Released: Mar 2011
Label: Merge Records
Civilian is a grower. Its subtleties slowly unravel -- Andy Stack's beats bounce at a staccato pace as acoustic and electric guitars gradually pile on top of one another before bleeding into wisps of dreamy distortion. Sometimes the hooks reach classic-rock stature; sometimes they dissolve into a shoegaze haze. Jenn Wasner's vocals seal it all together, her pipes slightly rusted with a lethargic despondence: "I am nothing without a man/ I know my thoughts/ But I can't hide them," she wearily reveals on the fantastic title track. The result is both grand and intimate.
Stephanie Benson

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