A Side: "Cali In A Cup"
B Side: "Give Your Light Off" (Non-Album track)
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Nobody tell Woods that the current music consumer loves bands that surround themselves in nonstop controversy, big changes in sound, and an almost obnoxious need to be the constant center of attention. Over the past seven years, Woods has quietly released seven EPs/LPs and a handful of 7" records, never once straying too far from the initial mission statement sound that was and is Woods. An ode to the folk psych scene of the middle to late 60s, Woods has never pushed the sound to be more than what is was before. The difference has always been in the undefinable magic this group has as songwriters and performers... the same formula seems to click every time without that much change.
I'm not sure why critics and music fans constantly criticize acts for not changing enough or for changing too much... maybe it's just an easy, reflexive thing to do when reviewing a new album from a band with a previous body of work. I'm certainly guilty of it in past reviews. With that said, 2012 has been an eye opener when it comes to subtle or small changes, and I think that I've shed my need for each album to be its own statement, rather than serving as a snug fit into a band's discography. Albums this year from Andrew Bird, Sharon Van Etten, Beach House, and now the first single off the new LP from Woods show bands/artists changing just a hair here or there. My reaction to these albums have all been the same. Yeah, they sound a lot like the last record...but it's still great.
Maybe I'm simplifying an already simplistic way that critics fill up space in their reviews, but the end point is that Woods found their sound early on - the modification comes in the form of different storytelling track to track. To this moment, Woods is a band that will be remembered for a borrowed sound they made all their own, a discography without a hiccup, and a steadfast dedication to making the music they wanted to make. Woods have their blinders on; I hope they never take them off.