Erik Woods is a musician from West Virginia who has been writing and recording music for the last seventeen years. His recent release ...and Open Skies is a lo-fi effort that embraces fuzz as much as organic instrumentation.
The first track opens in an ominous way with a fuzzy bass and clean guitar. It’s like the first emergence of a thunderstorm. The melodies start to quickly embrace dissonance and off-kilter melodies. About half way through the song vocals enter into the mix which feel hopeful and almost separated from the music.
The title track is a mix of instrumentation. You could make the argument there is a little too much happening. That being said the music and even the soft, boyish vocals reminded me of The Microphones.
“Glistening Listening” could be considered free jazz, improv or noodling around depending on who is listening and how it’s defined. “Brother Mania” gets into more experimental, artistic territory and is arguably the highlight. The song at points is barely hanging on by a thread. I think the vocals that enter into the mix make the song work really well.
“Music is for Lovers” seemed to go down the wormhole of an oscillating synth. It seems to serve as transition to the longest song entitled “Once Before.” The song is a melancholy collage of sadness and regret. He laments, “Why don’t you love me like you did once before.”
“Got Me Good” felt like a different band. There is a programmed beat and a tongue-in-cheek type delivery that feels more aligned with an artist like Ariel Pink. The closer “Storm Cloud In” reverts to the more experimental, acoustic approach.
The album has its moments. I can’t say every song was a home run but I think the most effective songs combined experimentation and pop sensibility. Take a listen.
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