Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday, we offer songs from local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole is “Blood Dries Darker” by Woods from their 2010 album At Echo Lake on Woodsist.
Brooklyn-based psychedelic folk outfit Woods first drifted onto my radar sometime last year, following the release of their last full-length, Songs of Shame (also on Woodsist). For some reason, whenever one of my friends from LA tells me about a new band, I just assume it’s going to be something on the order of DOOM or heavy metal so you can imagine my surprise when best buddy Michael told me about the lo-fi goodness of Woods.
The band’s latest effort, At Echo Lake, is a rustic, rough around the edges pop record that begs for your obsessive affection. Sounding more and more like my beloved Guided by Voices every day, Woods hit hard with the essentials: folky fists and melodic guitar kicks.
Finding middle ground between the alt-country sparseness and psychedelic density of their predecessors, Woods takes a conscious step forward with At Echo Lake, crafting low-fidelity songs that always feel complete. Where others use quantity (more/less: layers or tracks) to compensate for (or create) that unfinished feel, Woods music meanders to what always feels like an unforced, pitch perfect ending.
Available in a variety of formats including cassette (cue nerd love) this new album walks confidently along a path that stretches out between unique and familiar. Like any good follow-up, “Blood Dries Darker,“ the album’s opening track, transitions nicely from the guitar-centric Shame into the free-breathing, soul-soaked atmosphere of present day Woods pop. The rootsy rhythm coupled with Earl’s vaguely morose vocals make for a truly irresistible introduction. The only problem of course being that pesky repeat button.
Woods are playing the sold out Woodsist Festival Big Sur next Saturday, June 12, at the Henry Miller Library and the Woodsist Festival Los Angeles on June 15. More dates are scattered throughout, as listed on their MySpace page, and they’re starting it all off in our fair city this coming Monday, June 7, for what promises to be a fun show at one of my favorite venues, Ballard’s Tractor Tavern! See you there… I’ll be the guy with the Pabst master cylinder.
For now, here’s “To Clean” from 2009’s Songs Of Shame: