This review was originally published at Listen Before You Buy.
Canadian crooners Deep Dark Woods offer harmonies that are delivered with such an enchanting seriousness that upon hearing their brand of folk rock I simply fell head over heels for their latest record “The Place I Left Behind”.
The first track to catch my attention is ‘Sugar Mama’ – a song about growing older, taking chances and rekindling old flames. “Come on sugar mama take a chance with me/ I’m a lot older than I used to be” is enough to charm me; I’d head out with Deep Dark Woods frontman Ryan Boldt any day.
The rest of the album strikes a balance between bluesy ballads and feel-good folk jams celebrating time-worn values like loyalty and the importance of home. Another highlight is the closing track, ‘West Side Street’ which features organ solos that would make even Dylan feel one-upped.
Small town drama, wilderness woes and more fill this rockabilly record with enough imagery to satiate a hungry ear for a thousand years. These songs feel like stories told around the fire, or on a ship traveling far through foreign seas. They are old tales that explain life through a lens of moralism and fate that seems to have slowly seeped out of society. Deep Dark Woods bring this rare quality back out into the spotlight on tracks like ‘The Banks Of The Leopold Canal’, its touches of banjo and mandolin reminds an attuned ear of Chris Thile and Nickel Creek.
Boldt’s slow drawl is relaxation in sonic form, as he covers topics from death to lost loves, or just the plain old-fashioned blues, as in one of my favorite songs on the record ‘Back Alley Blues’. As a listener, I was carried out of even the most metropolitan areas of New York City, deep into the back country by his languid, compelling vocals.
Keep an eye on these guys, after listening to their latest record, I went back into their discography and found their old, unknown albums to be equally well-crafted. I am positive their future work will continue in this same vein, bringing a taste of old-fashioned blues, bluegrass, and folk music to our ears.