Wye Oak: Civilian + Cut All the Wires (colour) 2009-2011 LP
Ten years after its release, Wye Oak's Civilian remains a raw, sinewy punch of a record – bleak and intense and lonely and self-assured all at once. It marked both the ascension and death of Wye Oak, or at least a version of it. Now, a decade later, Civilian + Cut All the Wires: 2009 – 2011 delves back into that pivotal record and adds a lost album of 12 unreleased tracks and demos to Civilian's universe.
Sonic paradoxes abound: The mellow "Sinking Ship" is preceded by the wall-of-sound grunginess that roars through "Half a Double Man." A pared-down acoustic Daytrotter live session of "Two Small Deaths" dovetails into the jangling "Holy Holy" demo. The closing lyrics over the frenetic, screeching feedback of "Electricity" lend the anniversary release its title: "There's nothing about you that I don't adore / Show me these rooms and I'll show you the way to the door / Walk me through / I'll cut all the wires and spend my life with you."
On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, Stereogum described Civilian as "an album of hellos and goodbyes at the same time, introducing us to everything Wye Oak could be, before setting the stage for the other Wye Oaks we'd soon get to know, and the all the others we've still yet to meet."