Everything on "With Light and With Love" is sharper, tighter and more refined than anything Woods have previously released: the production, the songwriting, the recording, and the band's performances.

Latest Mixtape:

Shop the TK market: Curated Coffee & Vinyl Pairing (1-3 month gifts)

Turntable Kitchen's Curated Coffee & Vinyl Pairing Buy it now

Woods – With Light and With Love

Woods - With Love

I suppose it should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the band that the new Woods album is great. After all, they’ve developed a reputation for both consistency and exceptional songwriting. With more full length albums than you can count on one hand, they haven’t released a dog yet. Perhaps more surprising then, in light of their exceptional back catalog, is that their latest release, With Love and With Light, is their best album to date.

Everything here is sharper, tighter and more refined than anything they’ve previously released: the production, the songwriting, the recording, and the band’s performances. And, best of all, they’ve managed these improvements without sacrificing any of the things that made them unique in the first place. Woods still demonstrate an unmistakable affinity for off-kilter melodies, psych-folk experimentation, and woozy open-road jamming.

For example, the album opens with the springy alt-country jam “Shepherd.” It’s constructed from warm slide guitar (courtesy of Mr. Presley), bright honky tonk piano, and a gently strummed acoustic guitar line. It’s upbeat and opens the album with a swaying easiness. Compare that to the title track, a 9-minute long epic, that unravels from verse to verse into a series of extended free-wheeling instrumentals of snarling guitar riffs, shuffling percussion, and wide-open spaces. It may sound unnecessarily indulgent, but I assure you it’s anything but. In fact, it sounds sharp, muscular, and mesmerizingly focused. It’s a song that you can get completely lost in. And, of course, they follow it up with their cleanest, most pop-affected track yet, “Moving To The Left.”

With Love and With Light also features contributions from several of their friends. For example, White Fence’s Tim Presley and Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado each appear on a pair of tracks. Nonetheless, the best bits are 100% Woods (singer/guitarist Jeremy Earl, multi-instrumentalist Jarvis Taveniere, drummer Aaron Neveu, and pianist/organist John Andrews) simply being themselves and doing what they do best.


This is my choice for a Musical Pairing for Kasey’s recipe for Shakshuka. Combining harissa paste, bell peppers, garlic, cumin, tomatoes, and eggs, the recipe – like the album – is earthy, fiery, and savory. It’s a versatile recipe that you could enjoy for either breakfast or dinner. Likewise, With Light and With Love is one of those albums that’s perfect for a long commute, a lazy afternoon, or day in the office. You can score this on vinyl, cassette, or CD from Insound.

Posted by Matthew Hickey

MattNekoRecords

Matthew is the music editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. He’s addicted to vinyl records, pour over coffee, craft beer, small batch bourbon, and pan roasting pork chops.

  • ellcoolj

    Wow… I’ just listened to the first song and WOW… that’s it. Great sound, and they are coming to Portland next week. Time to get a babysitter!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Yeah, and I don’t think that’s even the best track on the record (although it’s definitely the catchiest). They’re a great band that keeps getting better.

  • ellcoolj

    And I just found out that Quilt is opening for them. A great show no doubt.
    I’ve now heard the whole album and am sold. Thanks for the tip off.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Oh, nice. I caught Quilt twice at SXSW this year and thoroughly enjoyed both sets. That’s a great line up for sure!

  • ellcoolj

    Quilt was simply amazing. Their warm psychedelic sound filled with swells hit my soul just right. Their harmonizing voices were another layer of melodies on top of the killer backbone laid down by the drummer. (I couldn’t hear ANY bass all night long.) They sounded at times like an updated VU & Nico.

    Then Woods took the stage and at first seemed a bit lack luster, then they took off. Their sonic noise was great and led to a fantastic night all around. Thanks for the heads up.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    That’s rad! Glad it was as good as expected. It’s definitely a lineup I’d love to check out.


Get the pairings box:A curated food and music discovery experience

Pairings-Box-6 Subscribe

In season now:

Shop the TK market: The Breakfast Box

The Breakfast Box Buy it now

Recently on the turntable:

See all Stories from the Turntable > >

Recently in the kitchen:

See all Stories from the Kitchen > >

Get the pairings box:A curated food and music discovery experience

Pairings-Box-6 Subscribe

In season now:

Shop the TK market: The Breakfast Box

The Breakfast Box Buy it now