Songs of Shame
Songs of Shame is the fourth full-length release from the shady Woods, who — to this point — have kept their sprawling and elusive brand of dark, lo-fi folk in the underbrush. Songs of Shame lets some sunshine in, and is a beautiful, impressive outing. Opening track “To Clean” is warm and sweet, echo dripping off of melancholy vocals and a strummed guitar clanging with nostalgia; by songs’ end, however, a raucous, howling guitar takes over, setting the tone for much of Songs of Shame. “The Hold” is reverb-laden, post-folk that ends in spastic, acidic guitar work, but “The Number” is all delicate, acoustic floweriness, and Jeremy Earl’s airy falsetto completes the tune without rude assault. “Rain On” succinctly weaves together influences as disparate as Pavement and Neil Young, while ‘60s psychedelia flavors the lovely instrumental “Echo Lake” and the tambourine-laced “Gypsy Hand.” There’s even a cover of Graham Nash’s “Military Madness,” done with a healthy dash of reverence in an apparent poke at our current military quandaries. The best yet from Woods.