Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hear Wye Oak's stirring, gorgeous "Spitting Image"—a song about literally everything

Wye Oak
Wye Oak
Photo: Lissa Gotwals

We here at The A.V. Club have been fans of Wye Oak since the very beginning, whether it was inviting them to perform intimate versions of tracks almost a decade ago, or admiring the group reworking a song in a room full of Moogs in 2018. And now, as the duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack gears up to release their latest collection of music—the No Horizon EP, out this Friday on Merge Records—we’re hosting the exclusive premiere of the record’s latest single, “Spitting Image.” Check out the track below.

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The tune is a lovely and thrilling piece, slowly building from incidental sounds to a billowing swirl of harmonies, the aural equivalent of a sunrise. Wye Oak created the song, along with the rest of the new EP, as part of a collaboration with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and the choir’s soaring voices lend an almost operatic bombast to the fluttering rhythms and Peter Gabriel-like instrumentation. The cascading sense of awe it generates is very much of a piece with the song’s message. “‘Spitting Image’ is about trying to manage the sheer volume of information we are expected to absorb to exist,” Wasner tells us. “As naturally curious creatures, the idea of seeing everything at once initially sounds intriguing, but of course we quickly reach the limits of what we can consume, and are forced to contend with how little we can actually control. This song was an attempt to emulate the feeling of emotional and psychological overload as the waves of excess exceed the limit of our capacity to absorb them.”

If that was indeed the goal, then mission very much accomplished. No Horizon comes out Friday, July 31. You can pre-order the EP here.

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.

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