Electic instruments of folk
Woods is an indie-electric, campfire folk band that currently consists of Jeremy Earl (vocals, guitar), Jarvis Taveniere (various instruments, production), Aaron Neveu (drums), Chuck Van Dyck (bass) and Kyle Forester (keyboards, sax). Jeremy Earl and Jarvis Taveniere originally began a band under the name of Meneguar, where Earl (currently vocals and guitar) played solely drums and Taveniere (currently guitar, bass, and producer) was lead vocals and guitar. Meneguar released three albums, before shifting to the band, Woods, and bringing in Neveu, Dyck and Forester as members. Jeremy Earl wears many hats, as he is not only the founder of the band but the founder of their music production company based in Brooklyn, titled Woodist. Strange to Explain is Woods’ tenth album, influenced by the Grateful Dead but with a pop, mellotron spin.
“Where Do You Go When You Dream?” is an instrumental, music-box style song with soft pensive voices from afar. This single contemplates the philosophical question of what consists of the unknown realm of dreaming; what lies in the darkest parts of our minds? “Next to You and the Sea” is a surreal, electronic song with a zippy melody of trills and “ahs.” “Before They Pass” conveys a rhythmic configuration that blends the music and lyrics into a unity of sound. One can hardly distinguish where the singing ends the music begins.
“The Void” brings funk and electric together to create a smooth tune that has a hint of flamenco guitar picking and brass section. “The Void” is an instrumental piece that layers the most eccentric sounds into a work of art. The song “Strange to Explain” that labels this record is one of the most prominent tracks. “Strange to Explain” utilizes reverberating background noises to begin the song, followed by a simple yet beautiful guitar strum and tambourine. The focus of the song relies on a déjà vu feeling, as Earl sings, “it may feel strange/ have I been here before?” Subtle “oohs” and “ahs” begin to harmonize as the song progresses, charted by xylophone dings to bridge the verses to the chorus.
Inspired by symphonies, “Can’t Get Out” follows an orchestral style, filled with distant echoing voices. Woods showcases faint singing infused with desperation when they cry, “can’t get out/ can’t take a breath/ can’t you see?” “Just to Fall Asleep” is a swirly divine song that includes spacey drums and falsetto vocals. Similarly, “Be There Still” is a lullaby of intimacy, conveyed through high noted choruses, clarinets and tambourines, marking Woods’ ability to mix any instrument together successfully.
Filled with unique jingles complimented by a heavily focused diversity in percussion, Woods has unlocked a new dimension of music in Strange to Explain.