Friday, July 31, 2009


By Shanna Farrell, contributor

A beautiful fusion of indie rock, lo-fi, folk, and jam -- Woods has got it going on. Their newest album, Songs of Shame, was released in April and has quickly become one of my favorite records of the year. While I love me some indie-rock, lo-fi, and folk (has anyone seen the Newport Folk Festival line-up this year? Check it out here), it takes me a lot to tolerate, let alone like a band that does any “jamming” at all. But Woods is a different story. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’m in love with their sound. It’s something both familiar and new.

While I think the album as a whole is wonderful, there are three songs I want to highlight (two of which you can listen to here).

The first of the bunch is “The Number,” a stripped down song. It’s regretful and somber. It’s melodic chorus is “You’ll pass that number/ Waiting for the summer/ So that you cannot rest/ Curious perfections/ There’s haunting life lessons/ So that you cannot rest”. There is a definite beauty in its subtleties.

Next is “Military Madness,” originally by Graham Nash. This song is just as powerful now as it was then, and Woods brings a new flavor to the tune.

The third track I want to mention is called “September with Pete.” It’s completely instrumental and [for lack of a better term] jammy. The drums and guitar are most prominent, and together they create a kind of rhythmic euphoria. The song may go on slightly longer than I would like (it clocks in at 9:40) given my previously mentioned aversion for jam-rock, but I can get help moving to this song.

The band is currently on tour. If you’re in Boston on Aug. 6, I’ll see you at Great Scott for their show!


And if you’re interested in reading more, here’s a review that Pitchfork did of Songs of Shame.

Shanna Farrell is a friend that will be contributing to my blog regularly. She earned her undergraduate degree in music from Northeastern University in Boston and afterward moved to LA, where she worked in production. She currently lives in New York City where she attends grad school at NYU.

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