Some songs are powerful and poignant without even trying. When you come across one like that, you just have to share it with anyone who will listen. “Civilian”, the latest single from Baltimore duo Wye Oak, is such a song. This tune has been pointed out by several in the blogosphere as a gem, and rightfully so.
Jenn Wassner’s echoing vocals hauntingly narrate a tale of self-realization, sadness and remembrance. Her simple guitar melody and Andy Stack’s percussion help build the track to a feedback-drenched, background-wailing crescendo. This song aches in all the right places, and I can feel its power in my bones.
Wye Oak’s forthcoming LP is also titled Civilian, is due out March 8. My familiarity with them up to hearing this song was their appearance on Matt’s 2010 Songs List. After listening to “Civilian”, I am dying to see them live, and can’t wait for the record. That is how wonderful this track is. Download it below.
Also, check out the video from the fantastic site FaceCulture (tons of good stuff over there) — it’s a live performance of “Civilian” on a rooftop in Amsterdam. It adds a certain something to an already-strong track.