Woods, “Cali in a Cup”

Alec Petty

Photo by Terri Nguyen at 285 Kent

It's quite interesting to see a band grow and change. Whether it be through influences, equipment, or songwriting, musicians can ingeniously re-invent their style – or become cookie-cutter version of themselves. So the question becomes, when a band has generated a consistent sound, should they change it?

Woods have been at it for years, continually putting out records using the same faded and dusted guitars and ramshackle drums. Yet, in the span of nearly a year since the release of the excellent Sun & Shade, something changed. On the newly released “Cali in a Cup,” Woods' production sounds beefier and their playing more precise. It seems as though Woods have finally gotten tired of their tried and true lo-fi-ism, and are more interested in widening the depth of their sound. The results are magical, of course. The drums and bass pop with renewed energy, thicker and meatier than ever. The guitars strum with added breath, fighting the cobwebs that used to hide them in a mask of hiss. Jeremy Earl's falsetto feels fresh as well, showing a newfound restraint which gives the song a breezy, carefree attitude. If you're worried that Woods have jumped off of their own train, fear not: the crutch of the song is a beautifully distorted and reverbed harmonica that glides angelically on top of the mix. What Woods have done is brave: in choosing to experiment outside the claustrophobia of lo-fi, they have remained faithful to their songwriting roots.

You can stream “Cali in A Cup” below. Bend Beyond, their new LP, is due September 18.

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