The missing link between Wye Oak and Dungeonesse.Self-Released, 2016
Purchase: Bandcamp / Amazon
6.5 / 10
It turns out that Jenn Wasner isn’t quite done with 2016 yet. After the surprise release of Wye Oak’s Tween, she is debuting as Flock of Dimes. Well, it’s not quite a debut, because we’ve caught snips of Flock of Dimes — her largely solo efforts — for years now. The recordings Wasner has done under the name has been so talked-about that it now feels strange that we’re just getting her first full-length record. And here it is: If You See Me, Say Yes. Does it sound like what we’ve heard so far? Yes. Does it sound like Wye Oak? Yeah, it does. And it also sounds like Dungeonesse (her synth-pop R&B duo). If you went into a laboratory and manufactured “the most Wasner-ian” music possible, it’d sound like this. It’s full of heart, strength, and beefy mid-range rhythms.
Radiohead’s Amnesia feels like the bridge between Kid A and OK Computer, two records that sound very, very different. In the same way, Flock of Dimes’ debut feels like missing genetic material — the missing link between the serious, contemplative Wye Oak, and the light-hearted nostalgia-bait Dungeonesse. If you’ve heard this story before, you may stumbled upon what I said about Wye Oak’s Tween. Tween felt like a bridge between Wye Oak’s Civilian and Shriek. So while Tween and If You See Me, Say Yes are good, they sound familiar. Perhaps even too familiar. We’ve heard these sounds and ideas before.
If You See Me, Say Yes is a perfectly good record, written and performed (almost entirely) by a perfectly great songwriter/musician. If this record was released in a vacuum, it would be easier to recommend. However, if you’re not already a Wye Oak fan, it would just be best to start elsewhere.