HARMONY WOODS – ” Graceful Rage “

Posted: December 12, 2021 in MUSIC
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Harmony Woods has always been about dynamics. When this Philly project began a regional rail stop away, Sofia Verbilla wrote songs about the ways people see each other on either end of disaster. Across two records that spoke to the quietest of bleeding hearts, Verbilla expanded on processing grief, trauma, and other aftermaths while her band climbed and collapsed around her, turning ordinary circumstances into visceral reflections. From the deep opening drum beat, I knew “Graceful Rage” was going to be huge. It seemed like each new song had one little moment that blew my mind. And then the next morning I found out that Bartees Strange produced it! Talk about a dream team. Even without those specific events, “Graceful Rage” would be memorable. It is huge. The drums, the lyricism, the standout vocal moments, and more all add up to an album with a certain energy and mindset that you can’t help but get sucked into and, despite the rollercoaster of emotions, feel empowered, hopeful, and celebratory at the end. 

“Graceful Rage” is the band’s third LP basks in the sheer magnitude of letting revelations and recoveries blossom on their own terms. Produced by Bartees Strange, it’s an extension of trademarks and an exploration of new ground. Verbilla often lets moments stack and shiver like a wobbly house of cards, and the sparse vocal-led freeze of opener “Good Luck Rd.” continues that trusted thread. But it’s in the explosive nuance of tracks like “God’s Gift to Women,” a smoky and jagged pop-punk sneer, where Harmony Woods jets far from their most comfortable alcoves. What’s found in this growth is resolve and power, snug behind a radio-ready punch.

Across stopovers in pop-country’s swaying embrace (“Rittenhouse”), tear-stained calls for absolution (“Easy”), and the lockstep of booming percussion (“Holding You to You”), “Graceful Rage” regains footholds on forgotten pathways, shouldering the pain but destroying the doubt that smoulders in its wake. It’s Harmony Woods at their most aware and assured, where towering relief and welcome confidence have finally converged.  

Released March 12th, 2021

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