My father used to take us to the woods, quite a lot of the time. They didn’t have much money (I’ll never live the embarrassment of my home-made elasticated school trousers, but needs must I suppose) and so at the weekend, when me and my brother (and latterly my sister) were tearing the house apart, he would usher us into the car and take us to the woods.
For my father this was a time when he could walk, and think I suppose. He enlightened us about nature, of which he professed to be an expert on account that he had grew up on a farm, at least nature made a change from his favourite story, the one about his bedroom windows falling in when it snowed and he woke in the morning covered in snow – Oh, how he never tired of that one (cold? cold? you don’t know cold, you three) For us though, we could climb trees, and run around and jump in ditches and whack things with sticks (why is that such a satisfying thing to do) and when I look back on those days, I feel sort of sentimental and happy and, well, free.
I doubt whether Emily of Emily and the Woods named her band after a similar sepia-tinged moment of her childhood. I say that not because I think she maybe isn’t the outdoors type of anything, more because she probably named it after her surname. Woods. The said Emily Woods is joined by her brother Sam on guitar, Sam Brown on Bass and Dave Bush (yes, bush – in a band called the woods, a quite brilliant coincidence, unless the advert specified ‘must have foliage based surname’) on Drums.
Her music is very much in the style of those who influenced her growing up, partly suggested by her musician father – Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel and Bill Withers, so she makes this perfect folky-pop music topped with her voice, this beautiful expressive thing slightly reminiscent of Kate Nash but so much less direct, and so admired by Bombay Bicycle Club and Lucy Rose that they’ve borrowed it for their own records.
She’s been out on tour supporting just about everyone (well, Newton Faulkner, Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard anyway) and has two well received ep’s out already. The bands most recent release, Small Song, as well as being nigh on perfect, was recorded at home by Emily and her Dad and got airplay over at Radio One and 6Music.
Emily and the Woods are embarking on a tour starting on June 17th in York, with support provided by Sam Brookes and Anwyn Williams. The following four nights see the band take in Leeds Cockpit 3, Wakefield Hop, The Shakespeare here in Sheffield before finishing at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham. The band is hoping for a release later in the year, so you might get to hear whats coming on those if you can get along.
Me, I’d like to get along if I can. That’s because Emily and the Woods, much like my memories of those childhood walks with my father, make me feel sort of sentimental and happy and, well, free. And that’s got to be good, right?