Woods Announce New Album Strange to Explain, Listen To The First Single







Dreaming doesn’t come easy these shadowed days, which is why Strange To Explain by Woods is such a welcome turning of new colors.

It presents an extended moment of sweet reflection for the 15-year-old band, bouncing back to earth as something hopeful and weird and resolute. Like everything else they’ve recorded, it sounds exactly like themselves, but with subtly different shades and breaths and rhythmic feels and everything else that changes, the natural march of time and the intentional decisions of the musicians moving in what feels like an uncommonly organic alignment.

Strange To Explain trades in a different kind of dependability, maintaining a steady connection to the voice on the other side of the record needle. After quickly recording and releasing 2017’s Love Is Love in response to the tumultuous events of their (and our) 2016, Jeremy Earl and company took their time with what came next. Parenthood arrived, as did a short songwriting pause. The band went bicoastal when Jarvis Taveniere headed west. And when they returned to their posts, there on the other side of this particular mirror, they made this, an album that not only catches and holds and shares the light in yet another new way, but recognizes that there’s still light to be caught, which is also no small thing.

A bend beyond the last bend beyond, Woods keep on changing, thoughtfully and beautifully. The colors were always there, like trees blossoming just slightly differently each season, a synesthetic message coded in slow-motion. Recorded in Stinson Beach, the kind of place that seems like an AI simulation of an idyllic northern California coastal escape, the familiar jangling guitars recede to the background. John Andrews’s warm keyboards and twining Mellotron rise around Earl’s songs and dance across the chord changes like warm sunlight off the Pacific. The music feels a karmic landmass away from the creepiness of the uncanny valley.

Just dig into “Can’t Get Out” or “Fell So Hard” and it’s easy to spot the affable hooks and fuzzed-out bass and third-eye winks and fun harmonies that Woods have produced reliably since way back ‘round 2004 (which, in the buzz-buzz world of psych-pop really is a grand achievement, too). But listen carefully, also, to the sound of our (and their) world in transition, the ambient humming of spring peepers behind “Where Do You Go When You Dream.” Especially sink into the intention-setting opening trio of songs, emerging from (and shimmering inside) an atmosphere that could only be made by musicians who’ve been working together for nearly 20 years, as Earl and Taveniere have. It’s hardly a secret language, but you try verbalizing it, let alone communicating in it.

Depending on where in the time-track one stands, it’s their 11th full length (not counting collaborations, split LPs, EPs, and singles), and the 99th release on Earl’s Woodsist label. By any standards, Strange To Explain is the work of a mature band, capable of both heavy atmospheric declarations like “Just To Fall Asleep” and extended-form pieces like the album-closing “Weekend Wind,” unfolding in layers of trumpet and vibraphone and ambient guitars and stereoscopic percussion. There are backwards messages and forward ones, lyrical and otherwise. There are melodies that (at least to me) come back nonlinearly but happily throughout the day when I’m not listening to the music itself, finding some hidden perch and maybe soon transforming into the folk songs of the mind.

For contemporary heads, it can be nearly a full-time job to filter out all the bad energy being blasted through nearly all media channels from every conceivable direction. But not all media channels. These benevolent, Mellotron-dabbed dream-sounds constitute some of the more welcome transmissions on these shores in a Venusian minute, just what my kosmik transom was designed to accept. They’re sure to brighten any desert solarium, LED-lit pod, portable Bucky-dome, eco-fit Airstream, or whatever other cozy dwelling your time-mind is currently occupying.

Jesse Jarnow

Welcome Hurt Valley to the Woodsist Family!

Woodsist is pleased to announce its new signing Hurt Valley, the enigmatic folk-pop project of California songwriter Brian Collins; the label will release Hurt Valley’s debut album Glacial Pace on December 6. Collins’ life has taken him from playing in punk bands as a teenager in the DC area to his current role as the head of the science department at a Hollywood high school. He wrote the sun-drenched songs of Glacial Pace after a trip to Death Valley – coming across a clearing full of burnt out, vandalized vehicle carcasses inspired him to write about desolation and the things we leave behind.

“LA-based musician Brian Collins records music as Hurt Valley. He makes loosely psychedelic, often rollicking songs that feel like they came from a simpler time, before you realize that the simpler time you’re thinking about never really existed in the first place, and you’re just romanticizing a past that was as complicated as the present.

All this is to say that Collins makes songs that sound like they’re ripped from a forgotten private press record from decades gone but imbued with the weight of right now. Glacial Pace opener “Geology Dreamer” is anthemic and sad, an end-of-the-night (or, let’s face it, end of the world) jam that crumbles under lyrics about love and (healthy) obsession and getting through shit with people you love and trust.

The last track on the album, “Immaterial Worlds” acts as a mirror image to the opener. Where “Geology Dreamer” hits hard and woozy, “Immaterial Worlds” is soft and intricate, a nakedly contemplative end to an album that sneaks up on you no matter where you might be when you hear it.

Listening to Glacial Pace will no doubt evoke a number of complicated feelings about how you could be living differently, or more simply. The songs here are something of a roadmap to understanding how we got where we are, and what it all means. It doesn’t so much give answers as it does is point us toward observations that might push us to question who we are and what we do. Is there a better way to explain modern existence than the line “All we ever do is create immaterial worlds no one occupies in real life”?” – Sam Hockley-Smith


Listen to the first single:


Glacial Pace out December 6, 2019.  Pre-order vinyl here

Pre-order via Bandcamp

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Apple Music


After a short sabbatical, we are proud to announce the return of Woodsist Festival! We’ve spent many wonderful years on the California coast, but this time, we’ve decided to keep it local and partner with the folks at Arrowood Farms in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley. The one day event will happen on September 28 and feature current and past Woodsist label family, along with some of our favorite new artists. Come one, come all… We hope to see you on the farm.


In celebration of the 10 year anniversary of their acclaimed album Songs of Shame, Woods will be reuniting their 2009 era lineup featuring Kevin Morby and G Lucas Crane for a special set consisting of early Woods favorites.


Tickets onsale HERE at 10AM EST on Weds 4/24.


Arrowood Farms is located at 236 Lower Whitfield Road, Accord NY 12404. Tent and RV camping is available at the Rondout Valley Campground one mile away from the festival site. A carefully curated selection of local Hudson Valley-based food vendors will be on-hand serving all day long.

Listen To Peaking Lights Remix Kevin Morby’s Harlem River

In celebration of Kevin Morby’s Harlem River turning 5 years old this month, we have asked our friends Peaking Lights to remix the title track for a limited edition 12″. Listen to the first taste now on Spotify

Pre-order here

Bonny Doon Announce Summer Tour dates With Band of Horses and Snail Mail

Bonny Doon hit the road this summer with Band of Horses and Snail Mail. More info/ tickets here.

Their debut album for Woodsist is out March 23. Order CD / LP / Digital here.

Thu-Mar-22 Detroit, MI Trumbullplex !
Fri-Apr-06 Brooklyn, NY Union Pool *
Sat-Apr-07 Philadelphia, PA Boot & Saddle &
Sat-Apr-14 Detroit, MI Third Man %
Sat-Apr-21 Lansing, MI Stoopfest
Mon-Jun-11 Akron, OH Hivemind
Tue-Jun-12 Washington, DC The Black Cat +
Wed-Jun-13 Pittsburgh, PA Cattivo +
Thu-Jun-14 Toronto, ON Velvet Underground +
Fri-Jun-15 Detroit, MI Deluxx Fluxx +
Sat-Jun-16 Chicago, IL Subterranean +
Sun-Jun-17 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street +
Mon-Jun-18 Des Moines, IA Vaudeville Mews +
Wed-Jun-20 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge +
Thu-Jun-21 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
Fri-Jun-22 Boise, ID Funky Taco +
Sat-Jun-23 Seattle, WA Crocodile +
Sun-Jun-24 Vancouver, BC Biltmore +
Mon-Jun-25 Portland, OR Holocene +
Wed-Jun-27 Oakland, CA Starline +
Thu-Jun-28 San Francisco, CA Swedish American +
Fri-Jun-29 Visalia, CA Cellar Door +
Sat-Jun-30 Los Angeles, CA Bootleg Theater +
Tue-Jul-03 Scottsdale, AZ Pub Rock Live +
Fri-Jul-06 Dallas, TX Three Links +
Sat-Jul-07 Fayetteville, AR George’s +
Mon-Jul-09 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn +
Tue-Jul-10 Durham, NC Pinhook +
Wed-Jul-11 Richmond, VA Strange Matter +
Thu-Jul-12 Baltimore, MD Parkway Theater +
Sat-Jul-14 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer +
Sun-Jul-15 Boston, MA Sinclair +
Mon-Jul-16 Montreal, QC l’Escogriffe Bar Spectacle +
Tue-Jul-17 Burlington, VT Arts Riot +
Thu-Jul-26 Indianapolis, IN State Street Pub
Fri-Jul-27 St. Louis, MO Foam
Sat-Jul-28 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom $
Sun-Jul-29 Wichita, KS Cotillion Ballroom $
Tue-Jul-31 Springfield, MO Gillioz Theater $
Wed-Aug-01 Kansas City, MO Crossroads KC $
Thu-Aug-02 Bloomington, IN The Bishop
Sat-Aug-04 Peoria, IL Peoria Riverfront CEFCU Stage $
Sun-Aug-05 Memphis, TN Orpheum Theater $
Tue-Aug-07 Cincinnati, OH Bogart’s $
Wed-Aug-08 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom $
Thu-Aug-09 Kingston, NY BSP Kingston
Fri-Aug-10 Portchester, NY Capitol Theater $
Sat-Aug-11 Portsmouth, NH Prescott Park $
Sun-Aug-12 Providence, RI The Strand Theater $
Tue-Aug-14 Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony Summer Stage $
Wed-Aug-15 Richmond, VA The National $
Fri-Aug-17 Raleigh, NC The Ritz $
Sat-Aug-18 Asheville, NC Highland Brewery $


! w/ Fred Thomas and Shells

* w/ B Boys and Patio
& w/ Yowler and Trace Mountains
% w/ Anna Burch and Soft Location
+ w/ Snail Mail
$ w/ Band of Horses

Hand Habits tours w/ Japanese Breakfast, Jay Som and Kevin Morby

Hand Habits hit the road today for a SOLD OUT run with Japanese Breakfast and Jay Som. Meg will also be touring with Kevin Morby this spring in the USA. More info/ tickets: here
02/15 – Seattle, WA – Neumos $
02/16 – Vancouver, BC – Biltmore $
02/17 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom – Sabertooth Festival $
02/19 – Reno, NV – Holland Project $
02/21 – San Jose, CA – Ritz $
02/22 – San Francisco, CA – Grey Area Theater $
02/23 – Fresno, CA – Strummer’s $
02/24 – Pomona, CA – The Glasshouse $
04/02 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios*
04/03 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios*
04/05 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore*
04/06 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour*
04/07 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour*
04/09 – San Diego, CA – Casbah*
04/10 – Tucson, AZ – 191 Toole*
04/12 – Austin, TX – Barracuda (inside)*
04/13 – Austin, TX – Barracuda (inside)*
04/14 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall (upstairs)*
04/16 – Birmingham, AL – Saturn*
04/17 – Nashville, TN – The Basement East*
04/18 – Atlanta, GA – The EARL*
04/20 – Baltimore, MD – The Ottobar*
04/21 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom*
04/22 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom*
04/24 – Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups*
04/25 – Detroit, MI – El Club*
04/26 – Holland, MI – Park Theatre – Hope College*
04/27 – Indianapolis, IN – The HI-FI*
04/28 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall*
04/30 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon*
05/01 – Milwaukee, WI – The Back Room at Colectivo*
05/02 – Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
05/04 – Iowa City, IA – The Mill*
05/05 – Kansas City, MO – Record Bar*
$ = w/ Japanese Breakfast & Jay Som
* = w/ Kevin Morby
Hand Habits debut LP is out now on Woodsist.
Order CD/LP

Welcome Bonny Doon to the Woodsist Family

We are very excited to welcome Bonny Doon to the Woodsist family! Their new album, Longwave, will be out March 23rd. Check out the first single via Stereogum.

Arriving in the early months of 2017, Bonny Doon’s self-titled debut was a warm introduction to the Detroit quartet for many. Hazy and bright, the album’s woozy melodies and swirling webs of summery guitar textures were easily ingested as low-key slacker pop, blissfully awash in lo-fi sensibilities and dreamy ambiance. But the nonchalant breeziness belied a serious attention to songcraft that beckoned careful listening, and hinted at depths yet unexplored. Lo and behold, before the ink was even dry on the first record, work had already begun on its follow-up Longwave, a conscious about-face from the sonic experimentation of the first album, and a journey inward.

Opting for spontaneity and simplicity over the exploration of layers and textures that defined the first record, the band architected an incredibly intimate sound for these new songs. The album was tracked with minimal overdubs or production flourishes, constructing a frame that is spare and understated. The songs on Longwave amble through moonlit fields of melancholy guitar leads and self-reflection, the collection unfolding almost as one uninterrupted conversation with self. The session aimed to capture the band at their essence. With the superfluous stripped away, a gentle but steadfast spiritual core is revealed as the backbone of Bonny Doon’s cosmic American music.

Pre-order CD/LP
Pre-order from iTunes
Pre-order from Bandcamp
Listen on Spotify

Anna St. Louis cassette out this November on Woodsist/Mare. Listen to the first single now.


Despite her last name, Anna St. Louis was born and raised in Kansas City. She grew up a painter and singing in punk bands, eventually leaving her hometown to attend art school in Philadelphia. After graduating she made the move to Los Angeles where she began teaching herself guitar, writing songs and recording them on her own in her bedroom. First Songs is the sound of someone discovering their talent in real time – a peak into the collage of a wonderful mind that is absorbing their new surroundings and using new tools to put them into the room. Listening to this collection you can feel the sun coming in through the window – Anna on the foot of the bed with a guitar on her knee, finding her voice. St. Louis wears her influences well – think Patsy Cline singing over John Fahey – but has a style all her own. And while you can take the artist out of the midwest, you can’t take the midwest out of the artist – so let this be known; this is Midwestern music ran through a California filter. I believe Anna will have many more releases in her lifetime, but let it all begin here – First Songs.

“Fire is gorgeous and smoldering”- Pitchfork

Pre-order cassette

iTunes/ Apple Music



Meet Shannon Lay / I-D interview and track premiere

“My favorite thing people say when they come up to me after a show is, ‘I needed that.’ I think when you cry in those moments, you probably needed to do that. It probably needed to come out,” she says. “I love that I can facilitate that for people.”

Read Shannon Lay’s interview with I-D here

Listen to new single “Recording 15” below.

Living Water is out September 22 on Woodsist/ Mare.

order here


Shannon Lay shares new track/video, “Coast” & is on tour with Kevin Morby now

Shannon Lay recently announced her new LP, Living Water which will be the inaugural release on Kevin Morby’s new Mare imprint. Mare will operate as an imprint of the Woodsist label, which also released Morby’s first two solo albums. Today Shannon shares “Coast,” the second single / video from the album. Watch it below. ICYMI, listen to the first single, “The Moons Detriment.” Shannon Lay is currently opening up for Morby on his Fall North American tour (see full dates below).

Pre-order the LP

Pre-order from iTunes

Pre-order from Bandcamp



“The first time I saw Shannon my heart was broken into a million pieces. I had known her from her wonderful punk band Feels as the lead guitarist who shouted back up, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from her performing solo. But there she was – at a small bar in Los Angeles to maybe 15 people watching while she sat in a chair with an electric guitar on her knee, orange hair covering her face and a picture of Bart Simpson projected behind her. She began her set and my heart stopped the moment her voice leaped into the air – and I did what I do in those rare situations – I recorded it. I pulled out my phone, opened up the voice memos and recorded her whole set (the last time I had done this was three years earlier while watching Kris Kristofferson and Harry Dean Stanton do duets set at Cinefamily). After her performance I was in complete awe and wasn’t sure how to approach her to convey how much I loved it. Suddenly Shannon, an acquaintance from around town, had exposed her super power and I felt instantly star struck in her presence. “I recorded your set so I could listen to it again” I told her, and then to my surprise I found myself saying “let me put out your record” and after convincing Jeremy at Woodsist to do a collaborative release with me, here it is.
Living Water is an instant classic. Recorded by Emmet Kelly (Cairo Gang, Bonnie Prince Billy, Ty Segall) in his Los Angeles home studio, this is an album where you can hear the room reacting to the music taking shape around it. Shannon has a voice that transcends time and space. You can’t tell if she’s old or new, if she’s sitting next to you, on a mountain top, or down in some canyon. Already her second LP to be released in 2017, Shannon is a prolific songwriter, one who lives and breaths melody and with guitar skills to boot. Despite it’s 14 tracks, Living Water comes in well under 40 minutes, but like Pink Moon or Just Another Diamond Day before it, this is music so potent it exists outside the realms of time – but in a world specific only to itself and the new feelings it creates.
Shannon has been dominating the local scene in Los Angeles over the past two years, leaving everyone who witnesses completely breathless. Having just finished a tour with Ty Segall, Shannon is set to support Kevin Morby on a national tour this fall.” -Kevin Morby, Birmingham, Alabama, June 8th 2017

Press photo by Abby Banks


09-08 Richmond, VA – The Broadberry *
09-06 Boston, MA – The Sinclair *
09-07 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall Of Williamsburg *
09-13 St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway *
09-15 Dallas, TX – Sundown at Granada *
09-16 Austin, TX – The Mohawk *
09-18 Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf *
09-19 Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar *
09-21 Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom *
09-22 Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst Atrium *
09-23 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall *

* = w/ Kevin Morby