With Light and with Love, as its creators must have intended, is light and lovely. Yet for an album offering semi-straightforward psychedelia that seems tamer than Tame Impala, there is a fair amount of sonic playfulness. Joy jumps from each note.
Woods, a folk rock quartet based in Brooklyn, are an amiable act, cozy and accessible even as they break into glorious five minute jam sessions by track three. The sixties pop revivalism they engage in throughout their eighth record is consistently pleasant. Band founder Jeremy Earl’s high vocals are cheery and effervescent, tiptoeing over his companions’ guitars with gleeful abandon.
Though With Light and with Love may close with an eerie collapse into decaying sounds, overall Woods feel like happiness on record. Even with ambiguous lyrical nods to uncertainty, death (which “brings us close”), and time’s passage, Woods never descend into dread. Their work is sweet and summery, with musical nods to The Beatles and Steely Dan, Neil Young and Carlos Santana. As winter ever so slowly loosens its clutches on Buffalo, Woods are ready for the sunlight to come.