How The Music Of Woods Comes Together Singer-guitarist Jeremy Earl talks through the influences behind one song on the psychedelic folk band's latest album, City Sun Eater In The River Of Light.
NPR logo

How The Music Of Woods Comes Together

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/474116718/474935539" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
How The Music Of Woods Comes Together

How The Music Of Woods Comes Together

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/474116718/474935539" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I don't know about you. I have friends whose musical tastes are much better than mine. So I just wait for them to tell me what new songs I should listen to. That is essentially what our friends at NPR Music have been doing in a series they're calling Songs We Love. Here's one of their suggestions. We thought maybe you'd love it too.

(SOUNDBITE OF WOODS SONG, "SUN CITY CREEPS")

GREENE: That sound is from the psychedelic folk band Woods. They just released a new album. And this is the lead-off track. It's called "Sun City Creeps." Now, the secret ingredient for the song came all the way from Ethiopia, so says singer-guitarist Jeremy Earl.

(SOUNDBITE OF WOODS SONG, "SUN CITY CREEPS")

JEREMY EARL: Woods has been around for about 10 years now. It started out as a home recording project, after a few years finally left the bedroom and turned into a real band that started touring the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF WOODS SONG, "SUN CITY CREEPS")

JEREMY EARL: With this record, we tried to bring in some different influences, more stuff that we've been listening to at home lately. So for this song, we kind of took some influences from Ethiopian jazz. The first track is "Sun City Creeps."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUN CITY CREEPS")

WOODS: (Singing) Sun city creeps, did you say? Oh, let it go. We fall into love every day and take as we go.

JEREMY EARL: A friend introduced me to the Ethiopiques compilations. And specifically the Ethio-jazz, one of those is what hit me to it. And I guess I was just really drawn in by just the vibe of it and sort of this sinister, heavy atmosphere.

(SOUNDBITE OF WOODS SONG, "SUN CITY CREEPS")

JEREMY EARL: Let me play you an example. Here's the father of Ethiopian jazz, Mulatu Astatke.

(SOUNDBITE OF MULATU ASTATKE SONG, "YEKERMO SEW")

JEREMY EARL: He's a vibe player. And I love his phrasing and just the sound of the vibes is - it's like a real cool, heavy sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF MULATU ASTATKE SONG, "YEKERMO SEW")

JEREMY EARL: I like the space and just how, like, very fluid it is in the phrasing and different textures is what really drew me in.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUN CITY CREEPS")

WOODS: (Singing) The sun city creeps, let them waste.

JEREMY EARL: Singing in falsetto is a - I kind of gravitated towards it - just was more comfortable than my, say, normal singing voice. When I first started recording in my bedroom, I'd lay down multiple layers of vocals, and started favoring the falsetto. I'd turn that up in the mix and turn the low one down. And then at some point, the low one just was completely eliminated.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUN CITY CREEPS")

WOODS: (Singing) I'm falling today.

JEREMY EARL: I think this is our most solid record yet and sounds the best. It was possibly the most fun to record. And the whole thing was a great experience. So it's really nice that it's finally out there in the world, and people can hear it.

(SOUNDBITE OF WOODS SONG, "SUN CITY CREEPS")

GREENE: That was Jeremy Earl. He's the singer and guitarist with the Brooklyn band Woods. The song is "Sun City Creeps." And it's the first track on the band's new album, "City Sun Eater In The River Of Light."

Copyright © 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.