Watch Wye Oak cover Pat Benatar’s “We Belong,” see them at Johnny Brenda’s on 6/17
Wye Oak, the indie-rock duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, have gone through a number of permutations over the years. The group’s first three records each featured Wasner on guitar and were impeccable experiments that deftly combined both quieter folk elements and screeching rock. Everything was anchored by Wasner’s commanding vocals and Stack’s imposing drumming.
On the group’s 2014 record Shriek, things changed. Wasner ditched her guitar in favor of a bass, and Stack began relying heavily on synthesizers. While still a successful record, the shift rendered Wye Oak nearly unrecognizable.
This week, the duo covered Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” for the A.V. Club. It’s a somewhat amusing and peculiar song choice, but the group handles it well, with Wasner exploring a sultry, deep vocal register that doesn’t often showcase itself on Wye Oak’s own records.
The short clip also suggests that perhaps another change is coming for the band. While Stack continues to use synthesizers (and it works well with the Benatar cover), Wasner has reunited with the guitar. And given that Wasner recently told Stereogum there could be some new music from Wye Oak on the horizon, it may be that we’re about to see yet another reinvented version of the band.
To top it all off, Wye Oak has also just announced a big tour (maybe yet another hint there’s a new album in the works), which includes a stop at Johnny Brenda’s on June 17. Grab tickets via the XPN Concert Calendar, and check out Wye Oak’s cover of Pat Benatar below.