October 22 street date. When Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner released "Civilian", it marked both the ascension and death of Wye Oak, or at least a version of it. Now, a decade later, "Civilian" + "Cut All the Wires: 2009-2011" delves back into that pivotal record and adds a lost album of unreleased tracks and demos to its universe. Ten years after its release, "Civilian" remains a raw, sinewy punch of a record - bleak and intense and lonely and self-assured all at once. The album unravels with the sort of self-questioning and uncertainty that come with youth, and its specific confidence in unflinchingly probing all of those emotions, feeling them to their deepest extent even when it's tearing you apart at the seams. "Cut All the Wires: 2009-2011", a 12-song collection of rare and unreleased tracks and demos culled from the Wye Oak archives, is an extension of the bruised and aching "Civilian". The collection adds another layer of separation, a lost album unexpectedly discovered and the feeling of meeting oneself all over again.
Merge Records was started in the summer of 1989, by Laura Ballance & Mac McCaughan, the same summer they formed the band Superchunk in Chapel Hill, NC. The first couple releases were cassettes (remember those?), by WWAX and Bricks, followed by the first Superchunk (then known only as "Chunk") 7" single. The vinyl 7" was the format of choice for the first 3 years of the label, with cash borrowed from friends to finance projects (including singles from Erectus Monotone, Angels of Epistemology, and more Superchunk) and bedrooms serving as Merge HQ until 1992, when the first Merge full-length release, Tossing Seeds by Superchunk, was released on CD, LP, and cassette. With this release Merge also forged a relationship with Touch and Go Records of Chicago, who have done an admirable job manufacturing and distributing the bulk of Merge's full-length releases since then. Since '92 Merge moved from one charming-yet-run-down office to another until 2001, when we finally made the move from Chapel Hill down the road to a fine old building all our own in historic Downtown Durham, NC. In 2004 Merge Records is celebrating its 15th birthday, and while our roster has changed, rotated, permutated and expanded over the last 15 years, the quality we look for in records as fans is still there in the music we put out on Merge. Thanks for listening!