"Take It In" - Wye Oak
Fleetwood Mac meets Yo La Tengo as Wye Oak vocalist Jenn Wasner channels her inner Christine McVie against a recurring explosion of clanging noise in a song that sounds like a debate between someone who's whispering and someone who's shouting.
In contrast to the previous song, "Take It In" hovers within a strikingly limited range of chords. What I think gives this one its appeal is the bittersweet beauty of the verse's quiet melody, which centers on two symmetrical lines, one ascending and one descending. And the power of it comes from Wasner's dreamy delivery--she sings with minimal backing--and how she lingers subtly but deliciously behind the pulsing beat in just the right places. The harsh, clangy sections in between the verses render Wasner's return each time all the more elusively enticing.
The Baltimore-based duo Wye Oak is also a TWF returnee; their song "Warning" was reviewed in January '08. You'll find "Take It In" on the band's second album, The Knot, which will be released next month on Merge Records.