This Just In: Tween

OK, so this album technically came out in June, but only digitally, so it’s not like we’d have it at the store. But hey, the physical is out today, so although I’ve already been jamming to it for a while, it gives me an excuse to tell you about it. Why Wye Oak? Well, because they’re so painfully underrated – probably one of the most underrated American bands of the past decade. WHY is that? No freakin’ idea, but we can change that today, starting with YOU! Their new album, Tween, could easily be the direction Cocteau Twins went had they not broken up. Maybe I’m stretching here, but although it’s not exactly the same style, it has the same nostalgic feel in textures and arrangements. And there’s just the right mix of electronics and organic sounds to push it past rock/pop when necessary, but keep it rooted and accessible. Take a listen to a track below and see if you become a believer… -MLE

Wye Oak – Tween LP
Listen: “On Luxury”
“The word ‘tween’ implies a certain, very specific kind of awkwardness, and those implications are rarely positive. But think about it like this: Something ‘tween’ is in the process of becoming something else, and there’s a very specific kind of beauty in that becoming. There’s something rewarding in recognizing and celebrating it—in meeting it halfway.

Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack—the band’s two halves—described these songs as ‘not emblematic of a step forward, but a step sideways in time.’ In other words, they just didn’t make sense for album number five—which will happen at some point in the future. But just because they didn’t belong there doesn’t mean they don’t belong anywhere. To wedge them onto Shriek would’ve been dishonest; to orphan them would’ve been somewhere on the line between criminal and just plain silly.

Tween is full of gorgeous Wye Oak songs whose only crime was timing and context, made by two people at the height of their game. One minute Jenn and Andy are embracing their floatiest Cocteau Twins instinct (‘If You Should See’), the next they’re back in Civilian territory a bit (‘No Dreaming’), and later they’re slinky and electronic and gorgeously ‘80s (‘On Luxury’).

The common thread: These are no castaways or cutouts. In fact, pound for pound, Tween might actually be more directly accessible than Shriek. It should join the pantheon of amazing not-albums of history whose names try to downplay how good they actually are, like R.E.M.’s Dead Letter Office, The Who’s Odds and Sods, maybe even Dinosaur Jr.’s Whatever’s Cool With Me.” -Merge

 

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Why? New releases, reissues & restocks…
Against Me! – Is Reinventing Axl Rose LP
Agalloch – Pale Folklore 2LP*, The Mantle 2LP*
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black LP, Lioness: Hidden Treasures 2LP
Aphex Twin – Cheetah EP 12”, Selected Ambient Works 85-92 2LP, Syro 2LP
Arcade Fire – Reflektor 2LP
Arctic Monkeys – AM LP
Ata Kak – Obaa Sima LP
At The Drive-In – Acrobatic Tenement LP
Audion – Gut Man Cometh/Destroyer Remixes 12”*
Avicii – True LP*
Bad Brains – S/T LP
Bahamadia – Kollage LP
Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress 2LP
Black Sabbath – Never Say Die! LP, Paranoid LP, Sabotage LP, Technical Ecstasy LP, Vol. 4 LP
Blind Gary Davis – Harlem Street Singer LP
Blood Orange – Cupid Deluxe 2LP
Boards Of Canada – Geogaddi 3LP, Music Has The Right To Children 2LP
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Survival LP
Bonnie Prince Billy – Pond Scum LP
Bonobo – Days To Come 2LP, LateNightTales 2LP
Boris – Pink (Deluxe Edition) 3LP
Brian Eno – The Ship 2LP
Broadcast – Tender Buttons LP
Cannonball Adderley – Bohemia After Dark LP
Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial 2LP
Case/Lang/Veirs – S/T LP
Charles Bradley – No Time For Dreaming LP, Victim Of Love LP
Charles Mingus – Blues & Roots (Mono) LP
Cheena – Spend The Night With… LP*
Circle Jerks – Group Sex LP
Cocteau Twins – Blue Bell Knoll LP
David Bazan – Blanco LP
Dawn Of Midi – Dysnomia 2LP*
Death Cab For Cutie – Transatlanticism 2LP
Dinosaur Jr. – Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not CD, LP, You’re Living All Over Me LP
Descendents – Everything Sucks LP, Hypercaffium Spazzinate LP
Dr. Dre – The Chronic 2LP
Dusty Springfield – Faithful LP*
D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Black Messiah 2LP
Elliott Smith / Pete Krebs – Shytown b/w No Confidence Man 7”*
Field Mouse – Episodic LP
Floating Points – Kuiper LP*
Florence & The Machine – Lungs LP
Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma LP, Los Angeles 2LP, Reset EP 12”, Until The Quiet Comes 2LP, You’re Dead 2LP
Foo Fighters – Greatest Hits 2LP
Gila – Genkidama 12”*
Gold Panda – Good Luck And Do Your Best LP
Gorguts – Obscura 2LP
Gov’t Mule – The Tel-Star Sessions 2LP*
Hieroglyphic Being – The Disco’s Of Imhotep LP*
Holy Ghost! – Crime Cutz LP*
Howlin’ Wolf – Killing Floor: Blues Essentials LP
Ian William Craig – Centres 2LP
Ibeyi – S/T LP
Iggy & The Stooges – Raw Power LP
Iron Maiden – Powerslave LP, The Number Of The Beast LP
J Dilla – The King Of Beats CD
Jamie xx – Gosh EP 12”
Jeremy & The Harlequins – Into The Night LP*
Jherek Bischoff – Cistern LP*
Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced? LP
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures LP
Julianna Barwick – Will LP
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 3LP
Kaytranada – 99.9% 2LP
Kilo – Well Worn LP*
King Crimson – In The Court Of The Krimson King LP
King Geedorah – Take Me To Your Leader 2LP
LCD Soundsystem – S/T LP
Led Zeppelin – III LP, Led Zeppelin IV LP
LNZNDRF – Green Roses 12”*
Lou Reed – Rock N Roll Animal LP
Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington – Recording Together For The First Time LP*, The Great Reunion LP*
Lymbyc Systym – New Varieties EP 12”*
Mac Demarco – Salad Days LP
Marvin Gaye – I Want You LP, Let’s Get It On LP
Mercury Rev – Yerself Is Steam LP
Method Man – 4:21… The Day After 2LP
Michael Jackson – Bad LP
Miles Davis – Amandla LP, Kind Of Blue LP, Sketches Of Spain LP
Mitski – Puberty 2 LP
Moderat – S/T LP
Motorhead – Ace Of Spades LP
Nada Surf – Let Go LP
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Murder Ballads 2LP, Push The Sky Away LP
No Parents – Hey Grandma CS
Nonkeen – Oddments Of The Gamble LP*
ODESZA – In Return 2LP
Offspring – Smash LP
Outkast – Stankonia 2LP
Overmono – Aria EP 12”*
Pantera – Far Beyond Driven 2LP, Vulgar Display Of Power 2LP
Pavement – Crooked Rain Crooked Rain LP
Phantogram – Eyelid Movies LP
Pink Floyd- The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn LP
Pixies – Best Of: Wave Of Mutilation 2LP
Plaid – The Digging Remedy LP
Portishead – Third LP
Pretty Lights – A Color Map Of The Sun 2LP
Public Enemy – Fear Of A Black Planet LP
Queen – A Night At The Opera LP, News Of The World LP
Queens Of The Stone Age – Like Clockwork 2LP
Radiohead – In Rainbows LP, OK Computer 2LP, Pablo Honey LP
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Greatest Hits 2LP, The Getaway 2LP
Reverend Gary Davis – New Blues & Gospel LP
Rival Consoles – Night Melody LP*, Sonne LP*
Run The Jewels  – Run The Jewels II 2LP
Russian Circles – Guidance LP*
Sade – Best Of 2LP
Sam Cooke – Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964 LP
Sharon Jones – 100 Days, 100 Nights LP
Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun LP+CD
Songs: Ohia – Didn’t It Rain Deluxe 2LP, Magnolia Electric Company Deluxe 2LP
Sonna – Keep It Together 2LP*
Squirrel Nut Zippers – Hot LP
Sufjan Stevens – Illinois 2LP, Seven Swans LP
Sugar Candy Mountain – 666 LP*
Tame Impala – Currents 2LP
The Avett Brothers – True Sadness 2LP*
The Cure – Disintegration 2LP
The National – Trouble Will Find Me 2LP
The Smiths – Meat Is Murder LP, The Smiths LP
The Wailers – The Wailing Wailers LP
The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream 2LP
Tig Notaro – Boyish Girl Interrupted LP*
Various – Bossa Nova Vol. 2 2LP
Various – Day Of The Dead EP 12”
Various – Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts Of Deep City 2LP
Various – Eleven Into Fifteen 2LP*
Various – Money Maker LP*
Velvet Underground – S/T LP
Warpaint – New Song 7”*
Wild Beasts – Boy King LP*
Wild Nothing – Nocturne LP
World Psychedelic Classics 4 – The Existential Soul Of Tim Maia 3LP
World Psychedelic Classics Vol. 5 – Who Is William Onyeabor? 3LP
Yes – Tales From Topographic Oceans 2LP

*Indicates new release or new reissue