Sometimes commercially successful music is intelligent, but usually its cerebralness turns into boring, self-referential introspection when the makers break through at the latest. It is therefore remarkable that Jenn Wasner, a decade after »Civilian, the triumphant success of her band **”Wye Oak has just released her most personal and at the same time substantially far-reaching album with her solo project [Flock of Dimes](https://www.hhv-mag.com/en/glossaryentry/6625/flock-of-dimes🙂 »Head Of Roses« manages to be both a non-banal country-pop album and to tell of heartbreak without getting lost in self-reference. But the multi-instrumentalist has demonstrated her knack for complexity much earlier. Jennifer Lynn Wasner, born in Baltimore in 1986, formed the duo that later became Wye Oak together with Andy Stack in high school, and from then on blithely ignored music-industry to-do lists and simplistic recipes for success. After their breakthrough, the two unexpectedly picked up new instruments to push their guitar-music-souled folk-rock fans out of their comfort zone with danceable but twisted shoegaze on subsequent albums. »I know my place / It’s a place I’ve never been though« Wasner lyricised clear-sightedly in her early 20s. In her place, you can hear, she still isn’t – fortunately for all of us. In a haunting way, she describes it ex negativo, through a kind of exclusion procedure, in the ever new exploration of other musical places. Be it the synth-driven disco-RnB with band project number 3, Dungeonesse, or her numerous side engagements (with Sharon van Etten and Bon Iver, among others): when it comes to experimentation, the self-proclaimed perfectionist outdoes herself again and again, her collaborations are as diverse as her influences. »It takes courage to believe in chaos« is Wye Oak’s motto, Wasner told Interview Magazine. And because it takes at least a lot of courage to build intersubjective approaches to one’s own ego confusion that also sound damn cool and sophisticated, the saying can also serve as a slogan for the musician Jenn Wasner.
Jenn Wasner:** There are many different ways to tell a story in song, and Laurie’s is all her own. This is such a beautifully and thoughtfully arranged record, and also a reminder that language is its own instrument, too.