Riding Along on Wye Oakâ€™s “Holy” Roller Coaster
A roller coaster ride would be a temptingly lazy metaphor to describe either the soft-loud dynamics of Wye Oakâ€™s songs or the runaway success the Baltimore duoâ€™s third full-length Civilian has enjoyed since its release in March. But the new video for â€śHoly Holy,â€ť directed by Jeremy Johnstone, features the members of the band on an actual roller coaster, and the close-ups of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stackâ€™s faces as the ride pummels downward are often timed to sync up with the descending guitar riff that serves as the songâ€™s big instrumental hook.
â€śHoly Holyâ€ť was my favorite track on Civilian upon the albumâ€™s initial release, a woozily seductive summary of everything Wye Oakâ€™s moody midtempo songs do best that takes its sweet time to hit you with the full force of its chorus. So itâ€™s exciting to see the song soundtrack arguably the first video to prominently feature the band itself–Wasner and Stack had little more than cameos in the clip for If Childrenâ€™s â€śPlease Concrete,â€ť while The Knotâ€™s â€śSight, Flightâ€ť and the first Civilian video â€śFishâ€ť featured actors and animation, respectively.
Throughout the â€śHoly Holyâ€ť video, director Johnstone uses enough extreme camera angles and moody editing to make a summer day of riding the rides at Coney Island not seem quite so innocent and fun, especially given the ominous final shot. And while Wasner does a good job of keeping a poker face while singing the haunting tune to the camera, there are a few shots where she canâ€™t help cracking a smile as they go up and down that roller coaster again.