Herman Dune, Julie Doiron, Wye Oak | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Herman Dune, Julie Doiron, Wye Oak 

When: Thu., Oct. 29, 9 p.m. 2009
Price: $14, $12 in advance
Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack sometimes sparkled on their raw debut as WYE OAK, If Children, but on their second album, The Knot (Merge), the Baltimore indie-rock duo consistently shine. Wasner’s vocals have matured from merely airy to wistfully soulful, and the arrangements nudge her to the fore, so that compared to the first record there’s more breathing room between the exhilarating passages where she and Stack sing twirling double melodies—a smart restraint that makes them even more powerful when they do arrive. The Knot has an almost orchestral polish thanks to overdubbed violin, pedal steel, and piano, but it’s roughed up by sweeping, dissonant guitar noise that wavers between dainty twangs and dilated crunches, each deftly mirrored in tone and rhythm by Wasner’s singing. With this sophisticated record, Wye Oak have skipped ahead a few grades—they’ve ditched the teeter-totter and are ready to share the jungle gym with the big kids. Herman Dune headlines; Julie Doiron and Wye Oak open. On their previous visit they were a two-piece, with Wasner on guitar and Stack playing drums and keyboards, sometimes at the same time. —Kevin Warwick

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