Top 10 of 2011 (So Far) #8

Sun And Shade

It’s not been a terribly long road for Woods since their first album back in the good old days of 2007, but it has been a road nevertheless that has taken them to a very different place from their outset. Where At Rear House was an exploration of psyhchedelic folk, their newest album Sun And Shade is an exploration of acoustic pop through the eyes of psychedelic folksters. It has the twang and jangle of an Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros album, but to compare it completely to the Zeroes would ignore that it’s far more artful, intelligent, consistent, and odd. In that way, it is very much in the mold of their recent releases like the At Echo Lake EP, so it’s not a totally unexpected development, and in fact something we’ve quite gotten used to. All that said, this new record still retains some of the qualities that have made Woods so noteworthy in the past. First, an eye for experimentalism; they never shy away from an opportunity to blaze – or more appropriately go for a leisurely stroll down – their own path. And second, Sun and Shade continues their legacy of being one of the most consistent groups around. There are no bad, or even mediocre tracks put forth here: every single song stands on its own as a terrific work, and all of them together create something even greater. Not everyone will see how great Woods are, as they can be an acquired taste, but I highly encourage you to look into them and start acquiring a liking for them – you’ll be a better music fan for it.

Favorite Tracks:
“Pushing Onlys”
“Be All Easy”
“Hand It Out”

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