Woods - Strange to Explain LPWoodsist
Dreaming doesn’t come easy these shadowed days, which is why Strange To Explain by Woods is such a welcome turning of new colors.
It presents an extended moment of sweet reflection for the 15-year-old band, bouncing back to earth as something hopeful and weird and resolute. After quickly recording and releasing 2017’s Love Is Love in response to the tumultuous events of their (and our) 2016, Jeremy Earl and company took their time with the follow-up. Parenthood arrived, as did a short songwriting pause. The band went bicoastal when Jarvis Taveniere headed west. The result is an album that not only catches and holds and shares the light in yet another new way, but recognizes that there’s still light to be caught.
A bend beyond the last bend beyond, Woods keep on changing, thoughtfully and beautifully. The colors were always there, like trees blossoming just slightly differently each season, a synesthetic message coded in slow-motion. Recorded in Stinson Beach, the California enclave where the government once tracked one of the largest LSD rings in the world only to be questioned by the neighbors as agents prowled the woods, on Strange To Explain, the familiar jangling guitars recede to the background. John Andrews’s warm keyboards and twining Mellotron rise around Earl’s songs and dance across the chord changes like warm sunlight off the Pacific. The music feels a karmic landmass away from the creepiness of the uncanny valley.