#3 TOP 10 2010: Woods, At Echo Lake
It’s odd that this album didn’t get more love when it came out. Songs of Shame was such a hot little LP when it dropped last year that I thought a superb follow up such as this would blow the doors off the indie hype meter. This is partially due to At Echo Lake’s lack of weirdness. So much of the freak folk genre has teased itself apart and into such unstructured composition that its barely listenable (looking at you Velvet Davenport) and Woods has not. This is not to say that Woods hasn’t done a lot to expand their sound in new directions and finding new ways to layer depth and different modes of spooky oddness. More than anything this album reminds me a lot of Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home. Perhaps this is just the prevalence of electric guitar on both albums but in both instances the artists were pushing themselves into a new space, a bolder space, while still preserving the fundamental “thisness” of their sound. Woods succeed here in turning over a new musical leaf and did it without sacrificing the core of what they are about as a band. Its growth in the best way.