The Brooklyn boys from Woods must have spent their time in someone’s dense rooftop garden, because At Echo Lake offers up an honest-to-goodness–if not pleasantly surprising–backwoods, homespun sound. Isolating themselves from the bustling New York cityscape the album was conceived in, the tracks are thick with a haze drifting over from the Portland folk scene and mellow, surfer coastlines.
Giving you but a humble 30-minutes of wispy campfire songs, Woods
manages to find a beautiful balance between simultaneously crafting and
destroying their music. Jeremy Earl’s fragile falsetto clashes and
flourishes through the grizzly static and fuzz. Hushed and understated,
their damaged sound is nothing short of endearing.
“Time Fading Lines” contemporizes the traditional singer-songwriter sound with meandering feedback and electronics that refrain from overpowering its understated beauty. Enlivening the album, “From The Horn” punctuates Wood’s improvisational abilities with a Doors-esque sixties instrumental jam that rocks, crescendos, and abruptly disintegrates back into fuzz.
Emerging out of that collapse, Earl segues with whimsically flawed oohs in “Deep” before giving way to the random musings of plucked guitar strings and hand claps that are more reminiscent of a late night session with friends than a professional album. It's this kind of ease and comfort that courses through the entire album.