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Woods | Sun & Shade

Woodsist (2011)
By LIZ PELLY  |  June 9, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars
Woods' album, 'Sun & Shade'

Woods singer-guitarist Jeremy Earl may be best known aboveground for his five-year-old Woodsist label, releasing home recordings by Thee Oh Sees, Kurt Vile, Vivian Girls, and dozens more of today's more inspired underground artists. But his best work since 2005 has been the music he creates with his four-piece band, Woods. Their sixth full-length, Sun & Shade is among their strongest, continuing to take poppy folk songs, soak them with sunny West Coast psychedelia, and bend them with the band's idiosyncratic take on ambient sound. It starts with three hooky tracks that melt with each tambourine tap or textured vocal melody, the best being "Pushing Onlys." The two longest tracks, "Sol y Sambra" and the seven-minute-long "Out of the Eye" are grooving, lyric-less long-burners, melding Eastern sounds with Krautrock influences. As with previous Woods records, though, the instantly entrancing element is Earl's Neil Young–inspired falsetto, wrapped in swirls of gauzy tape hiss. Earl's voice is just as heartwarming as it is likely to give you the chills. For the third consecutive year, Woods' spring release is perfectly timed — like Songs of Shame in 2009 and 2010's At Echo Lake, Sun is a blissed-out soundtrack for warmer months. It's rejuvenating, cathartic, immersive.

WOODS + KURT VILE AND THE VIOLATORS | Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston | July 11 @ 8pm | $15 | 617.779.0140
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, psychedelia, Vivian Girls,  More more >
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