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coverpic flag US - New York - Full Moon 199 - 11/28/12

Bend Beyond

Alternative/psychedelic folk-rockers Woods out of Brooklyn, NY, has been around since 2005, and they've now come up with their fifth album proper, Bend Beyond. As always it's put out on singer-guitarist Jeremy Earl's label Woodsist -- an exciting label "housing" artists like Ganglians, Wooden Wand, Kurt Vile, MV & EE, The Fresh & Onlys, Wavves, White Fence, The Babies, and more. Are you ready for some more songs from the Woods?

From the opening title track Bend Beyond unveils a collection of beautifully crafted songs. Stylish, fuzzy, lively and catchy folk-rock from the delicately twisted side. Jeremy Earl (vocals, guitar), Kevin Morby (bass), G. Lucas Crane (tape-effects technician), and multi-instrumentalist Jarvis Taveniere are a colourful bunch of musical elves, or fairies, even leprechauns, maybe (I don't know if there's any Irish blood among the members), and they create rich and multi-coloured music. 12 tracks clocks in at some 32 minutes, and I'm pretty sure this will be one the albums of the year.

I mentioned the title track, which is a brilliant rough opener. It's a key track, and sort of an semi-epic song. It's even the LP's longest track (even though 4:25 isn't a long time at all). The tender "Cali in a cup" (which also is the single choice) comes up nest, and it's followed by another beauty, "Is it Honest?". They both set the 60s mood (think Byrds) quite precisely. The songs are a perfect blend of more or lees eerie (or: mystery-stories-from-round-the-campfire) lo-fi rock ballads (down-, mid- and up-tempo, that is) topped with the pure falsetto vocals of Earl. Other songs worth mentioning are the instrumental "Cascade" spinning like a glittering ball, the very fine (maybe the finest of them all?) pop song "Back to the Stone", and the blistering garage-pop gem "Find Them Empty". Then there's little "Lily", or another psychedelic excellence called "Size Meets the Sound", or the lovely pair of "Impossible Sky" and the closing "Something Surreal". I could go on naming almost every song of the album (I think I almost did...), just to underline this might be album of the year. It's so good it almost hurts.

You'd better check inside the woods. The songs from the Woods make the darkness go away. This is the soundtrack to a dark, mid-wood campfire turning into a summer's feast.

Copyright © 2012 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Woods articles/reviews: Be All Be Easy b/w God's Children, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, With Light And With Love.

© 2012 Luna Kafé