Album Notes - Woods - Strange to Explain

Album Notes - Woods - Strange to Explain

June 3, 2020

Woods. Precisely the place I would prefer to be as I gaze over my laptop into the trees between my now seemingly eternal home office and the Milwaukee River just beyond. There they are, full of diversity, changing as the seasons pass, yet steady, dependable and enduring. The same could be said for the Brooklyn band whose sound largely matches their name. Strange to Explain is Woods' eleventh album in thirteen years, and among previous releases with titles like Sun and Shade and City Sun Eater in the River of Light (my personal favorite, both in name and result), alongside With Light and With Love, not to be confused with Love is Love, one could assume hippy vibes are aplenty. One wouldn't be wrong. Bliss appears to be one of their musical goals, and to that end they consistently succeed with their stylistic mix that practically defines present-day "psych-folk."

But the true beauty of Woods is revealed when they are at their most dialed in, delicately balancing a touch of shadowy darkness amidst their most optimistic songwriting tendencies. Woods continue to be keen to demonstrate the power a little dichotomy can lend a song, a feat they pull off with greater ease and frequency than many of their genre contemporaries. That tinge of dusk makes the light that much sweeter, a welcoming reminder when armed with the knowledge a resolution lies just around the corner.