Posts Tagged ‘Woodist Records’

Rather than existing at odds with the disturbing energy of the pandemic, and the eerie silences that accompanied the quarantine, Woods feel profoundly present. Their balmy psychedelia reckons with the world rather than seeking to escape it. Reflecting on and reasoning with death, they ask, “I see old friends when I sleep…Where do you go when you dream?” In a momentary flash, we see children age and gardens grow. Woods is one of those low-key prolific bands, seemingly guaranteed to produce an album each year (a rate of production even more impressive considering frontman Jeremy Earl also runs Woodsist Records, one of the best indie labels around.) Some albums — like 2010’s At Echo Lake — are paragons of psych folk rock, while others tend to fade into the background without much fanfare.

“Strange to Explain” is their strongest effort in years, with Earl’s high-pitched howls providing immediacy on an album filled with moss-covered vignettes, including highlight cuts like the title track and the mesmeric “Where Do You Go When You Dream.”

Second single from the new Woods album out May 22nd, 2020 on Woodsist Records.

I kinda feel you’re either all in on Woods or you just don’t get it. I obviously fall in the first camp, and have loved everything they’re put out for many years at this point. This release sounds like it will be more great psych tinged garage folk which honestly there’s just not enough of. Take a listen to the first single down below, neat video as well.

“Dreaming doesn’t come easy these shadowed days, which is why Strange To Explain by Woods is such a welcome turning of new colors.

It presents an extended moment of sweet reflection for the 15-year-old band, bouncing back to earth as something hopeful and weird and resolute. Like everything else they’ve recorded, it sounds exactly like themselves, but with subtly different shades and breaths and rhythmic feels and everything else that changes, the natural march of time and the intentional decisions of the musicians moving in what feels like an uncommonly organic alignment.

Strange To Explain trades in a different kind of dependability, maintaining a steady connection to the voice on the other side of the record needle. After quickly recording and releasing 2017’s Love Is Love in response to the tumultuous events of their (and our) 2016, Jeremy Earl and company took their time with what came next. Parenthood arrived, as did a short songwriting pause. The band went bicoastal when Jarvis Taveniere headed west. And when they returned to their posts, there on the other side of this particular mirror, they made this, an album that not only catches and holds and shares the light in yet another new way, but recognizes that there’s still light to be caught, which is also no small thing.

A bend beyond the last bend beyond, Woods keep on changing, thoughtfully and beautifully. The colors were always there, like trees blossoming just slightly differently each season, a synesthetic message coded in slow-motion. Recorded in Stinson Beach, the kind of place that seems like an AI simulation of an idyllic northern California coastal escape, the familiar jangling guitars recede to the background. John Andrews’s warm keyboards and twining Mellotron rise around Earl’s songs and dance across the chord changes like warm sunlight off the Pacific. The music feels a karmic landmass away from the creepiness of the uncanny valley.

Just dig into “Can’t Get Out” or “Fell So Hard” and it’s easy to spot the affable hooks and fuzzed-out bass and third-eye winks and fun harmonies that Woods have produced reliably since way back ‘round 2004 (which, in the buzz-buzz world of psych-pop really is a grand achievement, too). But listen carefully, also, to the sound of our (and their) world in transition, the ambient humming of spring peepers behind “Where Do You Go When You Dream.” Especially sink into the intention-setting opening trio of songs, emerging from (and shimmering inside) an atmosphere that could only be made by musicians who’ve been working together for nearly 20 years, as Earl and Taveniere have. It’s hardly a secret language, but you try verbalizing it, let alone communicating in it.

“Where Do You Go When You Dream?” Woods singer Jermey Earl asks on the lead single of the Brooklyn folk band’s 11th LP. It’s a question we all seem to be asking ourselves a lot more these days, as our dreams have had to suffice as our only true journeys out of the house in the desperate times we’re living in. To record Strange To Explain, Woods headed to Marin County’s bucolic Panoramic House Studio. Depending on where in the time-track one stands, it’s their 11th full length (not counting collaborations, split LPs, EPs, and singles), and the 99th release on Earl’s Woodsist label. By any standards, Strange To Explain is the work of a mature band, capable of both heavy atmospheric declarations like “Just To Fall Asleep” and extended-form pieces like the album-closing “Weekend Wind,” unfolding in layers of trumpet and vibraphone and ambient guitars and stereoscopic percussion. There are backwards messages and forward ones, lyrical and otherwise. There are melodies that (at least to me) come back nonlinearly but happily throughout the day when I’m not listening to the music itself, finding some hidden perch and maybe soon transforming into the folk songs of the mind. Woods shared another song from it, “Can’t Get Out.” A press release says it’s “a track about fighting to move past the low points of depression.” The propulsive song is backed by synths and might be the yummiest taste we’ve gotten of Strange to Explain thus far.

For contemporary heads, it can be nearly a full-time job to filter out all the bad energy being blasted through nearly all media channels from every conceivable direction. But not all media channels. These benevolent, Mellotron-dabbed dream-sounds constitute some of the more welcome transmissions on these shores in a Venusian minute, just what my kosmik transom was designed to accept. They’re sure to brighten any desert solarium, LED-lit pod, portable Bucky-dome, eco-fit Airstream, or whatever other cozy dwelling your time-mind is currently occupying.

Throughout his years of traveling, John Andrews has documented his life with his home recordings. His first record, Bit By The Fang, found him living in the amish country of Lancaster, PA. His latest record, Bad Posture finds him waving farewell to Pennsylvania & greeting the wooded hills of Barrington, NH. Sitting on top of one of these hills, coined Mt. Misery, is the colonial era farmhouse John now calls his home. This is where Bad Posture was born.

Andrews’ band, The Yawns, has been crystallized with staples from the New England freak scene; Rachel Neveu & Lukas Goudreault (MMOSS/Soft Eyes) & Joey Schneider. All of who have been playing up in the free country for many years themselves and all of who call the same farmhouse home.
Over the past few years John has played as a session player on records by Woods, Widowspeak, EZTV & Kevin Morby as well as composing & recording with his band Quilt.


Woods Best Brooklyn Album

At this point, it is hard to imagine that any Woods record isn’t flawless. They have refined the folk-rock psychedelia that defines them to such a degree that it seems pointless to point out individual elements that make the band great. But here are a few: their songs are bright but never sunny, they pull of musical interludes that are just as interesting as verse and chorus structures, and above all, Jeremy Earl’s cellophane tenor. My favorite Woods songs are the ones that feel like they could soundtrack one of The Dude’s trips in The Big Lebowski and it will only take you a couple spins through City Sun Eater in the River of Light to realize–that’s all of them.

WOODS – City Sun Eater – CD / LP / CS

Woods‘ excellent new album City Sun Eater in the River of Light is out April 8th via Woodsist Records and in addition to vinyl, CD and cassette, you can also get it as a skateboard. The band have partnered with Habitat to create a deck with the new album’s artwork that will come with a download of the album.


As far as the BV team goes, I think I’m in the minority for never really caring about Woods. I usually check out each new album, think it’s fine, and never return to it. But City Sun Eater In The River of Light has the band exploring some new ground, and it’s the first one that’s had me itching to play it again. It’s not a major departure from their usual ’60s-psych revival, but it definitely pushes Woods’ sound past its usual comfort zone. The band brings in bold horns on “The Take” and album opener “Sun City Creeps,” the former of which is backed by hand drums and a funky bassline, and the latter of which takes a guitar solo straight from the Summer of Love. The album’s most distinct (and possibly) finest moment is “Can’t See At All,” which has the kind of reggae/funk that’s usually saved for the jam band world these days, and a melody that feels nicked from Odessey and Oracle. Singer Jeremy Earl’s falsetto is a main draw as always, and it’s not crazy to suggest he sounds better than ever. He’s also melodically sharp, as he shows off on the addictive chorus to the folky “Morning Light.” They shine when he’s not singing too. On “I See In The Dark,” they’ve got extended jams that find the middle ground between hypnotic, driving krautrock and the free-form soloing of early psych. If you didn’t think Woods had any growth left in them, this album crushes that belief.

3rd Single from the new Woods album, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, out April 8th, 2016 on Woodsist.

The band have also just released a third track for the album, “Morning Light,” which is more what most people expect from Woods than the horn-filled first two released singles. It’s a lovely bit of West Coast sunshine and you can stream it below.


Woods’ are on tour with Ultimate Painting starts in April and will hit Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg 


“Woods have always been experts at distilling life epiphanies into compact chunks of psychedelic folk that exists just outside of any sort of tangible time or place. Maybe those epiphanies were buried under cassette manipulation or drum-and-drone freakouts, or maybe they were cloaked in Jeremy Earl’s lilting falsetto, but over the course of an impressive eight albums, Woods refined and drilled down their sound into City Sun Eater in the River of Light, their ninth LP and second recorded in a proper studio. It’s a dense record of rippling guitar, lush horns, and seductive, bustling anxiety about the state of the world. It’s still the Woods you recognize, only now they’re dabbling in zonked out Ethiopian jazz,  and tapping into the weird dichotomy of making a home in a claustrophobic city that feels full of possibility even as it closes in on you. City Sun Eater in the River of Light is concise, powerful, anxious—barreling headlong into an uncertain, constantly shifting new world.


In the hair over a decade they’ve been together, Brooklyn’s Woods have been wildly prolific, releasing nearly an album a year in that time. Next Friday, The band will release its ninth record, City Sun Eater In The River Of Light, which sees the band continuing on its psych-folk trajectory.  City Sun Eater In The River Of Light ahead of its April 8th release on the band’s very own Woodsist label. Throughout City Sun Eater, Woods shows its ability to offer subtle variations on its standard sounds, making for a record that takes some big steps while retaining the warmth and familiarity of a ’70s classic-rock record at every turn.


Slab Sessions Series – Season 1 – Episode 4

The Portland Mercury and The Stranger present a sunny performance by Kevin Morby in this episode of the Pickathon Slab Sessions Series.

Filmed at Pickathon (,  August 2nd, 2015. Singer Songwriter  Kevin Morby performs
Songs  “If You Leave and If You Marry
Record Label:

Taken from the album “How Far Away” on Woodist RecordsReal Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile’s other band, Ducktails, released one of 2013′s most unjustly overlooked LPs, The Flower Lane,  is an album so dreamily, wondrously relaxed that it should seriously come with the same warning label you’d find stuck to the side of a bottle of Vicodin. Now, Mondanile’s Real Estate bandmate, bassist Alex Bleeker, is set to release a new one from his own side project, Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, the title of which is “How Far Away”, and the content of which is almost as chilled-out as The Flower Lane. “Step Right Up” is the third track following Leave On The Light” and “Don’t Look Down“  and … well, it’s probably enough to point out that the song is subtitled “Pour Yourself Some Wine.” Don’t mind if I do! No kick back and give this thing a spin.


WOODS have their 8th Album later this month so far the tracks I’ve heard have been wonderful, the record has shown more depth and attention to detail in the sound. Jeremy Earl and Jarvis Tavenaire will be on tour later this year ,The album title is “WITH LOVE WITH LIGHT” this track features a beautiful organ sound, the band will be at the GREEN MAN festival and the LIVERPOOL PSYCHEDELICA Festival in September 2014.