No. 78: Wye Oak, “I Want for Nothing”

Kate Richardson | December 8, 2008 1:00 am

It used to be that you had to lurk on fan sites and wait for someone to post a concert bootleg to hear unreleased material from your favorite bands, but that process has since been boiled down to a single YouTube search. Case in point: “I Want for Nothing,” an unreleased track by Baltimore’s Wye Oak.

As with any band that I particularly like, I consistently check the YouTube results for Wye Oak to keep an eye out for new songs and good performance videos that I can watch as part of my elaborate life procrastination ritual. In April I found that high quality videos from an entire concert had been posted, and it was like Christmas morning. “I Want For Nothing” became daily listening.

As with most of the duo’s music, “Nothing” is kind of a hard track to put your finger on. The two adjectives that first came to mind were “slinky” and “grinding,” but then it occurred to me that those two words are actually somewhat at odds. The frantic guitar strumming and aching vocals lend a forceful urgency and messy uneasiness, but, as always with Wye Oak, there’s an ingenious melody buried underneath the noise.

(Side note: If you made a video montage of stupid cat shenanigans set to this song it would more or less define my experience of the Internet in 2008.)

80 ’08 (And Heartbreak)