Recalling those famed sandwiches of chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker goodness enjoyed around a crackling campfire, aptly named folkie lo-fi musicians Woods bring back your campfire days.
I just listened to Woods’ At Echo Lake, the fifth album from this Brooklyn borne band of tambourine savvy musicians. A quick listen at just under a half an hour, Woods plays with fuzzy tones mixed with electronics, a combination that’s good for sinking into nostalgic summer. Coined as “pop” by some, the Neil Young vocal homage of lead singer Jeremy Earl and the folk musicality of acoustic guitar point to the difficulty of categorizing Woods’ sound.
This album will not drive you insane with obsession, (it’s not going to replace Jonie Mitchell or Led Zepplin or Bob Dylan or Britney or whoever as your new number 1) but some of the guitar riffs and vocal harmonies do recall the joy of a Pet Sounds-filled summertime. The warmth of the track “Time Fading Lines,” or the loose and fast “Get Back” will get you in your summertime groove. There is also some slightly darker material, such as track ‘From The Horn’ with its funky guitar improv. ‘Death Rattles’ includes bird song twitters and waling vocals, adding another less bubbly track to the album.
Without clean-cut studio luster, Woods’ fifth album, has a homespun type of sound, one that is accessible and oddball. This purposeful low fidelity, muffled sounds of musical fuzz, essentially contributes to the charm of this album.
Singer Jeremy Earl’s own label, Woodsist, has also been enjoying success overall lately, organizing indie music fests nationally and releasing bands like San Diego based Wavves, Vivian Girls, New Jersey quartet Real Estate, and San Francisco’s Moon Duo.