From Bob Dylan to Grimes: Woodes takes us through her vinyl collection
Just a couple of weeks after she returned to our ears with the uplifting magic of ‘Euphoria’, Woodes is back for more with the intense, formidable new single, ‘Queen Of The Night’. Showcasing bolder production, darker sounds and more dramatic vocals, ‘Queen Of The Night’ is a rich, intoxicating trip under the cover of darkness.
When Woodes released ‘Euphoria’, she also confirmed her debut album, Crystal Ball, was finally on the way. Now, with two songs from this record under her belt, we’re getting a clearer picture of the entire world she’s created within this album. Always one to have attention paid on every detail, Woodes‘ entire vision becomes more and more crystallised as she unveils her body of work bit by bit, and we are absolutely here for what we’re seeing so far.
Long time Woodes fans might notice a sort of companionship between ‘Queen Of The Night’ and 2016 song ‘Rise’, which is all about a woman rising up and returning from the sea. This powerful, all-encompassing potency we’ve come to expect from a Woodes song has long been evident in her music, with the artist herself describing the pair of songs as “sisters”. Of ‘Queen Of The Night’, Woodes said, “On my new song ‘Queen Of The Night’ the music production has walkie talkies, harmonic whirly tubes, a mix of percussion, synthesisers, congas and strange, bubble-like backing vocals. These are some tracks from my vinyl collection which have shaped me as a producer and writer.”
A dynamic, evocative and powerful listen, ‘Queen Of The Night’ is one of Woodes‘ most creative offerings yet, and also doubles as one of her finest. With just a few weeks in between now and when we are graced with the arrival of Crystal Ball, what better time than the present to get to know Woodes a little better? Below, she takes us through some of her favourite records in her collection, from modern classics to golden oldies.
SUFJAN STEVENS – Age of Adz
Song: Futile Devices
This is the opener of the Age of Adz album. I love the line “When you crochet I feel mesmerised and proud”. Futile Devices is one of the more chill songs on the record which, overall, is very experimental. I loved hearing the strange sound design on this album, it opened a lot of doors for my personal music taste. ‘Impossible Soul’ is another favourite, which is the album’s closer. To me it shows you can truly make or do anything. It goes for 25 minutes and feels like you’re walking from room to room, with completely different sounds in each place. It’s really hectic in parts and then pulls back to a tiny little folk song.
JAMES BLAKE – James Blake
Song: Limit To Your Love
This was the first James Blake song I ever heard, and since that moment I’ve been a massive fan. I love that James’ voice allows for him to experiment with production that fuses ideas that would be prevalent in hip hop or dubstep. Songs like ‘Unluck’ are unsettling but lock back in with his voice, steering the ship. Every time James Blake releases something new I save the first listen for a time where I can really listen – with headphones or in the car, or on a flight. I can remember the exact moment with a lot of his songs.
BOB DYLAN – Blood on The Tracks
Song: Buckets of Rain
I’ve grown up listening to Bob Dylan through my father, who has almost every album Bob’s ever made (including the bootlegs!) He even started collecting Japanese pressings.
When we were in NYC together we walked the same streets as Bob in Greenwich Village, we went to the same music stores. When we went to Woodstock together for the first time, we drove to The Big Pink – an iconic house where a lot of great music was recorded. That was three years ago to the day. My dad plays Buckets of Rain on the guitar a lot. He also sings along.
Other favourites (it’s way too hard to pick a single song)
Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again, Shelter From The Storm, Hurricane, Maggies Farm, Forever Young, Just Like a Woman, Farewell Angelina, Boots of Spanish Leather.
IMOGEN HEAP – Speak For Yourself
Imogen Heap first got me into producing my own music, through this album. It has one of my all time favourite songs ‘ Hide & Seek’. I also love Headlock. Her production is so fascinating. Sometimes I just listen to her instrumentals. She’s really funny and has always shared a lot of her process, through vlogs and youtube which I’ve valued a lot. She’s another extremely innovative musician & creator.
SIGUR ROS – Takk…
Truly, this whole album is perfect. This one is all-encompassing. If you’re looking for a place to start with Sigur Ros records – Takk or Ágætis byrjun. I love living in the world that their music creates. It’s magic.
SIGUR ROS – VALTARI
Song – Varou
This has been my dream album since it came out. The first day I listened to this I put on my headphones as I was going to sleep, and I woke up the next morning with it still playing, my headphones still on. I loved that moment, realising it could be my little sleep friend. Since then it has become my ultimate relaxing/calm album. I have listened to it the most every year because I play it if I can’t sleep, or if I’m flying on a plane. I’ve looped it on trips to LA and back. I saw Varou performed live at Harvest Festival, Melbourne in 2012, and it was such a euphoric moment, with the choir. All of the fans watching were so peaceful. It was produced by Alex Somers, who produced/wrote one of the songs on my upcoming album with me.
RADIOHEAD – A MOON SHAPED POOL
This album release coincided with my first solo trip to LA. I saved the first listen for a day where I was wandering art galleries on a day off from writing sessions. In one of the galleries was this blue room with deck chairs and the walls were a neon, matrix style grid. I sat on the chairs provided in the installation with my headphones on. I was there for ages! Everytime I listen now, I think of that. It’s a beautiful album. Parts of the backing vocals are a bit Sufjan Stevens-y.
Sampha – Process
Song: No One Knows Me Like The Piano In My Mother’s home
My mother had my upright piano in her home & every time I’d go up to Queensland, I’d tinker on the keys and say hello to my old friend. Only a couple years ago I got it driven down to Melbourne on a truck, so I could write with it and play every day, since it was a little lonely up north. A lot of my album ended up on it. It’d be a different record without it in the room.
Sampha’s record is really special to me. I listened to it almost every day for a year when it came out. I saw his live show in Sydney and Melbourne and was even considering going a third time. It’s a perfect record.
GRIMES – Visions
I started producing music in 2012, when this record came out. This was a really important album to me, as it showed me what could be possible. I remember reading SOOO many Grimes interviews, and to me, seeing another woman doing everything herself made her a big role model for me.
This song Genesis was one of my favourites. The way she uses her voice in the backing vocals and changes the reverbs to make the spaces really big and open is awesome. It always just seems like she’s having fun making her art & the world that surrounds it.
Listen to Woodes‘ Record Collection below:
Words by Emma Jones
Image: Nick Mckk