Satin Jackets – ‘First Thing’ (feat. Tailor) jackLNDN – Patterns (lp) Acid Stag Radio Jbox – ‘The Way I Live a Life’ 44 Ardent – intothedeep (ep) Mall Grab – What I Breathe (LP)

words by Ethan Cardinal

Melbourne based artist/producer Woodes has travelled down the path of successful experimental production to create an EP that transcends listeners to a world trapped between luminescent synth melodies and a sense of ethereal light, anchored within her fragile vocals. Woodes has managed to create an imaginary construct dominated by telluric dependencies and natural light; and with each track it seems as though once you have entered her world, you would never want to leave.

Woodes sets herself up for inevitable success within her first track ‘Rise’, coiled around the growing dynamic alterations and restrained synthesiser melody fluidly caressing the dynamics of Woodes’ vocals and her lyrical prowess. While there is nothing too experimental, there is a natural beauty in the simplicity of this EP; focusing on the narrative of sound and lyrics rather than the backdrop of each song. It’s polished energy emitting from the irresistibly modern production and stemming from not only Woodes herself but a subtle collaborative influence from some of her good friends Simon Lam, LANKS, elkkle and Golden Vessel.

If ‘Rise’ is the calming influence of nature, ‘The Thaw’ is indeed its unpredictable counter part. Enriched by an ascending synth emphasis and subtlety in Woodes’ vocal pitch, ‘The Thaw’ is where she allows herself enough room to solidify her musical dexterity; seemingly braiding a growing energy but restraining it just before it gets too much that allows the perfect symmetry between her vocals and her production. ‘Poison’ embodies Woodes’ capacity to extract different elements from different genres such as pop, electronic and other influences to which she once again intertwines each of them together and once she has followed her narrative from the start of ‘Poison’, it’s inevitable that the listeners are now in the palm of her hands.

‘Daggers & Knives’ is where Woodes expresses her alt-persona. The slow build tendency, beginning with a beautifully haunting falsetto with a unique tapestry of production that embodies the great divide between the first half of the EP to the second. The instrumentation is both glossy and gritty, relaxed and restless, calming and haunting. ‘Daggers & Knives’ is brilliant not only in its production but its ability to create the stark contrast with continuous parallels in its moody seductivness, to the point where losing oneself in this EP might seem more realistic than finding a way out.

In the heart of ‘Bonfire’, Woodes takes anyone who is listening to the foothills of an abandoned campfire. Laced with a refreshingly new and previously unexplored textures, ‘Bonfire’ is structurally built from a busy rhythm of quirky percussive introductions and an inkling of modern production standing in stark contrast against her trademark narrative lyrics and smooth vocals.

And as ‘Byron’ permeates the end of seeing the campfire, it provides something that the previous tracks haven’t given; a deeper emotive edge. There is a sense of finality in ‘Byron’, almost as if listeners see the end of the forest and find themselves alone, swimming in the ocean of gentleness and tranquillity. Woodes effectively gives a gentle and sentimental goodbye to the listener with the calming vocal harmonies, minimal percussion and heavenly melody.

It seems as though the journey encapsulated within this EP relies heavily on the power of nature to prove that there is much more to this EP than just its stellar production. Woodes has created a story that seemingly follows the first track to the last with no disregard for the past or for the future, only moments trapped under natural light and visual imagination.

Rating: ★★★★

‘Woodes EP’ is available now direct from Woodes.

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