As you may or may not know, Los Angeles is burning right now. An uncontrolled blaze is tragic and terrible–but sometimes for Angelenos, the L.A. fire seems like an almost necessary purge of all things impure (and oh, there are many), wiping the slate clean for another magical incarnation.
Perhaps it is this routine that turns fire times into days of anomalous calm, our millions of city dwellers just waiting and watching as thick rolls of gray smoke cloud the sunshine over our strip malls, reminding us that we don’t have as much control over tomorrow as we think we do. And perhaps our dirty deeds will just burn up and blow away.
Fascinatingly enough, it is not the hills of the metropolis engulfed in flame at the moment, but the Angeles National Forest (Non-cellphone-tower trees in our midst. For those of you who don’t believe, trust. It exists). Seems almost appropriate, then, that the album we can’t stop spinning is the latest from Woods, called Songs of Shame.
The Woods are based in Brooklyn, but one of the most infectious tracks on the album is an expectant heartbeat-instrumental called “Echo Lake” (a tribute, we hope, to the common name of a strange urban oasis on our city’s east side, not our neighbor in the Sierras), which could easily be the soundtrack to the day’s fire-calm. The rest of the album is a messy, raw compilation of psychedelic lullabies made distinct by both irregular composition and layered teeny vocal tracks–so small, lilting, and ethereal that they remind me of Miyazaki’s Kodama.
But let’s be real here. Um, hello, the album is called Songs of Shame. Isn’t a record, in its own way, simply a vehicle to purge thoughts and emotions (and arguably in this case, guilt/shame)? If it’s possible for an LP to be custom-made for DISGRASIAN, this would be it.
Filed under: "Songs of Shame", Angeles National Forest Fire, Asian Shame, Calm, Fire, Hayao Miyazaki, Kodama, LA Is Burning, Los Angeles, Morris Fire, Portland Bands, Purging, Starting Over, Tree Spirits, Woods
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