Formed in Sweden in 2008 as an instrumental blues outfit, Barrett Elmore soon began weaving psych into their sound, and then with the addition of singer Mikaela Eriksson found their way to Woodlands. Barrett Elmore + Woodlands…that’s promising a lot. And they deliver, mixing much more than Floyd references and enchanted Nordic wood-Pixie mysticism. Wrapped in a lush and inviting production, Woodlands is a touch proggy, fully heady and just the place to take a walk to get lost in. Entrance leads you in with some stirring, well…woodlands…sounds, picked up again on Creek and peppered throughout. There’s a concept at play here with those details working along with the song titles (The Nixie, I See A Man, The Brook Horse, Lost In The Swamp) and sequencing that backs up the flow of Woodlands, but doesn’t require an instruction manual to find your way in. Woodlands feels familiar, that waking-dream edge, and totally natural. The obvious influence is spelled out in their name, but Woodlands gets around a retro rehash sounding thoroughly modern and at ease taking proggy turns and nurturing a folky underbelly. Everything…the name, cut titles, details, production…tie Woodlands together tighter than any overt concept could. The pastoral spaciousness and vibe they conjure up is fully realized and played out perfectly, gracefully dodging any lightweight twee bullets or slipping into a saccharine swamp. Whether hitting softly or aiming higher and harder, Woodlands is majestic in its own way, just as their namesake was (and this is Floyd here, not just Barrett). The epic closer Psilocybe Semilanceata seals the deal in more ways than one: you get the longer freak-out you were hoping for and knew they could do, their near perfect sequencing comes to a grand finale and more importantly, that clearing you were hazily wandering around looking for just turned out to be another trail head. Highly recommended.
"This show is 110% … one of the most consistently awesome programs we have come across."
The Sunrise Ocean Bender sets sail every Monday morning, 1 – 3 a.m. on WRIR lp 97.3 FM, to find something for your ears, and something for your head … From psych to prog to pop and whatever tributary we can find on the way … and right back around again. There might be a map, but the destination is up for grabs. If it all goes right, we may just get lost. Meet me at the muster station … it might be a long week.