By Pat Gunther
Brooklyn’s Woods, an often psychedelic and mellow folk rock outfit, is the latest band slated to rock the Spanish Moon, on August 21st. Currently comprised of vocalist and guitarist Jeremy Earl, multi-instrumentalist Jarvis Taveniere and drummer Aaron Neveu, Woods blends elements of psychedelic rock, lo-fi and garage to create an eclectic and entertaining collage of killer music.
“We’ve never played Baton Rouge before,” virtuoso Jarvis Taveniere said. “I’m expecting it to be crazy, the vibes should be through the roof.”
The Spanish Moon crowd should provide plenty of good feelings when the Red Stick newbies hit the stage. Woods’ tunes, a conglomeration of abundant musical influences, create a vivid portrait of different themes, which stem from a number of varying artistic mediums.
“We’re all big music fans, so that kinda gets the ball rolling some times,” Taveniere told me. “Even if it’s a record or a style of music you’ve never heard, for us at least, we feel like it really inspires you.”
It’s precisely that sparkplug inspiration that Woods has drawn from to put out a prolific 8 albums over the course of 9 years. The group’s latest effort, With Light and with Love, was released on Earl’s record label Woodsist this year to acclaim from various publications. Often blurring the lines between a Neil Young-inspired folk outfit and straight up groovy jam band, Woods’ free-spirited tunes are something that will feel right at home for those who frequent Baton Rouge’s numerous indie venues.
“I just have fond memories of what the woods meant to me as a kid and a poor teenager,” Taveniere recollected. “You could just go and make things, and anything could happen there.”
Through winding guitar solos, consistent drum work and often philosophical lyrics, Woods contorts and repurposes classical folk and rock elements into something entirely new and refreshing.
“We sorta have this caveman approach to the things we do, maybe a little less meticulous and more raw,” Taveniere said. “Within the context of what people think of as a folk band, they always end up surprised to see us go up there and be so relaxed.”
It’s that straightforwardness and simplicity that has worked in Woods’ favor since their inception, and has helped them gain recognition from media giant and musical tastemaker Pitchfork in addition to various other publications.
But, even after 8 years of arduous cross-country tours, Woods continues to keep their material fresh, groovy and, most importantly, fun for them to play. “We leave some moments in the set up for improv, which really keeps it fun,” Taveniere detailed. “We always leave ourselves those moments, and when we’re looking at each other and communicating throughout the set, it makes it that much more awesome.”
One could assume that a rigorous and monotonous touring schedule over the course of eight years would leave a group burned out and on the brink of quitting, but Woods maintains a unique approach that keeps them going.
“In five years, I hope we’re still doing it better and bigger,” Taveniere said, pausing. “I don’t really think about it, I think the thing that’s kept us going is to stay motivated day by day. Just checking in day-to-day and wondering, do I still wanna do this?”
Whether or not Woods continues to put out feel-good tunes at an incredible pace or not has yet to be seen, but with their live in the moment attitude, you can bet the farm that they’re going to put on one hell of a show at the Spanish Moon.
“Expect it to be kinda wild, kinda gnarly,” Taveniere excitedly said, “A little of both, with plenty of mellow moments in there, too. We just want everyone to have a fun time.”