When Baltimore, Maryland native Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak) pulled up to Rough Trade NYC last week, she was pleasantly surprised by the towering sight of her new album’s life-size poster. For the past three years, Jenn has been working on a side project titled Flock Of Dimes and the debut album If You See Me, Say Yes was finally released a month ago. In support of her latest collection of solo songs, Jenn is currently touring and I was able to catch the energized, upbeat set at Rough Trade last Wednesday.
As I walked in to the venue, the band was in the middle of their raging opener Birthplace. This set the mood for the rest of the show with both the chilled, spacey vibes as well as the animated, colorful atmosphere that is created by Jenn Wasner’s musical genius. Next up was The Joke, one of my favorites on the album and seeing this song live definitely confirmed my feelings for the song. With a jumpy, workout music vibe the song definitely stood as a highlight of the night.
After the song Apparition, Jenn stepped up to the mic for some stage banter, informing the audience that this tour is also serving as a prettiest hair competition for the members of the band (most of which happen to be blonde). Then she explained that the next song was inspired by one of the worst decisions of her life, and she proceeded to play Flight – a very spacey, airy-stoned vibe that only makes listeners wonder what crazy trip Jenn had, to write a song about that. She also explained that the following song Given/Electric Life was about how the world continues to make less sense to her as she grows older and at the same time the song is inspired by the motto you have to believe something can happen in order for it to actually happen. This is another highlight of the night because the melody is simple, but with so much meaning and power and emotions, Jenn and the rest of the dimes in her flock deliver a very memorable and entertaining performance.
After a stellar version of Minor Justice, the band performed Sometimes It Is Right To Have No Answer which beautifully features electrified piano keys as well as stunning vocals. The set closer was the hit single Semaphore which has the fans in the audience at Rough Trade jumping and dancing more so than any other song throughout the night. Jenn came back on with another guitar player to perform her rendition of “the most beautiful song in the world” Amelia by Joni Mitchell. This was a perfect way to cap the night off, because it showed where a lot of her vocal influence came from as well as left the audience with a calming, soothing vibe to ease their way out of the venue. Flock of Dimes is another project that Jenn Wasner is involved in that deserves your attention, just as much as Wye Oak and any other indie rock electronic band out there.
Scott J. Herman