There's been a lot going on in the world of Wye Oak lately, and now frontwoman/guitarist Jenn Wasner has some news of her own. Wasner will be releasing the first full-length for her solo project Flock of Dimes on the label Partisan Records—home to Deer Tick, The Dismemberment Plan, Sylvan Esso, and others—later this year.
A brief teaser for the album, which you can listen to here, seems to indicate that Flock of Dimes will continue to be a more experimental, electronic affair, as seen on the release of three previous singles. We can dig that.
In conjunction with the album announcement, Wasner introduced a new signature guitar, made and sold by Reverend Guitars. And it's a Baltimore collaboration of sorts too, using a pattern from fabric artist April Camlin (also the drummer of the terrific Wume) on its body.
Wasner penned an introduction for the instrument over at Medium that talks about her relationship with the guitar—touching on the genuine compliments about her playing that are inherently sexist ("This chick shreds!" "Hey, you can really play!") and her reasons for shifting away from electric guitar on "Shriek."
"After a while, it became too much for my fragile creative spirit to bear," she writes. "So I took a break. Fortunately, I was in the midst of learning how to record and produce music in a totally unfamiliar way, and I wrote our band’s next record using a very different set of skills. Same voice, different instruments.
"It was never my intention to 'abandon' the guitar—the instrument that introduced me to my own creative impulses. But, of course, marketing your music to the public is like playing a real-life game of telephone—all of your complex and nuanced ideas get reduced again and again until they're an easily digestible shell of their former selves."
After initially rejecting the idea of having her own signature guitar, Wasner writes she changed her mind when it was pointed out that "perhaps this association is in part because so few women have been given the opportunity to do this sort of thing, so maybe that's exactly why you should do it."
"I really hope that it doesn’t seem self-aggrandizing—it's not quite in line with the 'humble/hustle' approach to art-making that I've tried to adhere to," she concludes. "But I couldn't pass up an opportunity to contribute to normalizing the image of someone who looks like me playing this or any instrument—not as a novelty, or an accessory, but as a tool to create exactly as I see fit."
Both of these developments were first reported by the A.V. Club.