Now more than ever, thoughtful art matters. We are in the midst of a nerve-wracking and uncertain time when the value of a person's opinion hinges on how loudly they shout it at those who oppose them. For this reason, the latest record from psychedelic folk band Woods feels purposefully urgent. Love Is Love was inspired by the fear and dread felt by singer Jeremy Earl after the 2016 election. Earl poured out all those feelings into prescient, necessary art to guide him - and his listeners - through what can only be described as an unexpected whirlwind of restless political drama.
Love Is Love is a brief, but carefully composed record. The Brooklyn band did not anticipate releasing new work so quickly after 2016's City Sun Eater in the River of Light, but like so many artists, they felt the need to speak their truth in the Age of Trump. The six songs on Love Is Love are consistent with Woods' well-known eclectic instrumental style; the band manages to meld together freeform jazz, Americana and folk-rock in a way that somehow makes sense.
The themes of the EP will certainly resonate with listeners worldwide, not just with Americans still reeling from last November's news cycles. Despair, fear, anguish, fury, and activism lay the foundation for each of the six songs. Title track "Love Is Love" relies on repetition of a concept familiar to progressive artists in times of struggle; like "All You Need Is Love" and "We Shall Overcome," the title track and its reprise remind us of the power of love and unity to inspire change.
"Lost in a Crowd" directly addresses widely held anxieties in a charming, almost serene way. The refrain is filled with confusion, but masked with a dreamy, light-hearted melody. Earl is more reflective on this track, openly admitted, "Just when we thought it couldn't get worse / I'm lost in a crowd, a descending darkness." The reality of those words might hit too close to home, but Woods remind us the sun rises even in the darkest times.
Art has always been political, and the willingness of so many prominent entertainers to make challenging, provocative art in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election proves that won't change any time soon.
Stream Love Is Love below!