[sic] Magazine

Woods – Sun And Shade

With relaxed percussion, muffled production and scuffed guitar lines, Woods ‘ pastoral psyche-folk ranges from loose and lengthy jams to summery indie to beautifully fluttery freak-folk. And, continuing to put the adage about true perfection having to be imperfect to good use, Sun And Shade quickly reveals itself as no game-changer, largely following as it does in the bare footsteps of last year’s gorgeous At Echo Lake , as well as its predecessor Songs Of Shame .

Consequently, back in the fold are cuts like the running-time-heavy “Sol Y Sombra”, which runs with a smoky, Eastern-inflected vibe and glassy stare. So too, “Out Of The Eye”, which rolls out instead some choice krautrock bedding for its tasty, tunnel-vision repeats.

Elsewhere, however, it’s back to basics for the Woods boys: Jeremy Earl , Jarvis Taveniere and Lucas Crane . Having retreated a little to the titular shade of the album, back in part to jangling 60s psychedelia, once again we find impressive songwriter Earl’s creaking falsetto playing amongst his now-dappled melodies all the same.

The single, “Pushing Onlys”, channels high-grade, dusty pop from decades ago. Fragile and pretty, “Be All Be Easy” is the introvert cousin to the horizontal hi-jinx of “Hand It Out” The forgettable Terence Boylan cover, “Who Do You Think I Am?” is happily erased by the likeable tenderness of tracks like “Any Other Day” and “Say Goodbye”.

Towards its close, Sun And Shade doesn’t have the consistency of At Echo Lake , but then neither did Songs Of Shame , nor earlier offerings. Those albums, like this, nevertheless offer absorbing depth away from a full solar glare. Whilst, under a summer sun, a dip in the cool waters of Echo Lake is undeniably inviting, so too is meandering lost in the shade.

Advised downloads: “Pushing Onlys” and “Be All Be Easy”.

~Sun And Shade is out now on Woodsist .~

[sic] review – At Echo Lake

[sic] review – Songs Of Shame

Woods @ myspace