Woods – With Light And With Love
While many ‘alternative’ bands make a habit of becoming more esoteric as they age, Woods have taken the other route. The first Woods record At Rear House was a hauntingly strange and ethereal record, pared back to bare bones, singer Jeremy Earl’s voice coming across like a ghost. Five albums later Woods have gradually come out of the shadows in occasionally resplendent fashion – 2010’s At Echo Lake was an especially vivid slice of buzzing, blinding indie-pop-rock.
With Light And With Love is their mellowest effort yet, layered with Hammond organs and rolling guitar licks. Leaves Like Grass’ is a particularly shameless Dylan rip, the instrumentation culled straight from the 1966 bootleg tapes. Needless to say, Woods are at their best when they sound like Woods, and there’s enough of that here to make this a worthy addition to Earl’s cannon. New Light is an alluring acoustic ballad, while Twin Steps has just the right blend of vintage and modern to sound more Earl, and less his influences. [Sam Lewis]