[sic] Magazine

Woods – Love Is Love

How many Woods albums does the average fan have? It’d be a safe bet to assume not only lots and lots, but all of them. They’re that kind of band. Love Is Love is their tenth LP by our reckoning, even if it is only six tracks long this time around. Luckily these do last an extremely laidback thirty minutes, but they do cast you in a weird twilight zone all the same in which time no longer flows logically, minutes rushing by in seconds and seconds ticking away languidly in turn.

Love Is Love was written and recorded straight after Trump took office in any case, but it’s not the reactionary record you might have expected as a result. Commendably taking the moral high ground, it is – and quite obviously – one about love instead, specifically with the message that love will overcome hate. It’s a realist record too though, one that acknowledges that light will not always overcome dark, that it may in fact lose a battle or two on its way to winning the war. Consequently the summeriest of summer bands now make a play for other chillier seasons too. This being Woods though, this translates only to “Spring Is In The Air”, a ten-minute jam of old that dithers in psych drones, solemn trumpet and high-end piano tinkling rolling across the tableau like a big black cloud at a BBQ. That same trumpet returns triumphantly in “Bleeding Blue” however, the breezy chatter of Wurlitzer and harmonised chorus parts pushing Woods as close to pop music as they’ve ever been (without, of course, greatly troubling populism as it goes).

In order to appease anyone who fell in love with last year’s City Sun Eater, the album’s title track is trademark psych-folk treated to guitar lines made of liquid funk seemingly left over from that session, Jeremy Earl’s creaking falsetto a welcome ever-present on its partial reprise “Sun On Time” too, a track which otherwise deploys hand drums and the most tasteful of jazzy afro-beat rhythms to horizontal effect. Love Is Love as an album is nonetheless another step on Woods’ road to on-going evolution and, as if to prove the point, it also includes “Hit That Drum”, an almost neo-soul round of contemporary R&B that coos and swoops towards Bon Iver territory as its guitars needle away closer to ambient noise. It’s quite a deviation, but one that makes the journey. How many Woods albums does the average fan have? All of them including this one.

Best track: “Love Is Love”

~Love Is Love is released May 12th via Woodsist.~