Tom Woodward has really got a mouthful of meaningful, and heartfelt lyrics that reflect the beauty and misery of our reality; our brief spark of consciousness that we can’t hold on to forever. His latest, upcoming album ‘Beautiful Shadows‘ drops this coming Wednesday, and is definitely worth the download. Ranging across genres, this haunting, psychedelic, ambient, “indie” pop, and classic folk album really is gripping, engaging, and ultimately…great. The simple diversity of the album, with a clarity in the vocals that is not so consistent in much music these days, certainly plays to a great swath of audiences, in several ways. Strangely unifying, this meaningful melange of musical genres is the key to Tom Woodward‘s success; that ability to break barriers, and blur the lines of genre in an effective way.
Whether or not musicians enjoy being compared to greats come before them, Woodward really does have some interesting vocal qualities that are reminiscent of Neil Young, and compositions that hearken back to the late Leonard Cohen. That is no trivial comparison by any means.
According to Woodward himself, this haunting album of light and shadow “was written on buses, underneath trees, in spare rooms & on wintry park benches.” It’s interesting to hear that quality of travel, and transience come through in the lyrics in an uplifting, yet sullen, and sardonic way. There are some whimsically wise lines throughout the varied tracks, but as Woodward suggests “it will not help you, when you need advice”. There is a sad truth, and wisdom in that lyric…after all, who does fully take or understand advice until after they’ve learned for themselves the hard way?
The title of the album is incredibly evocative of the briefness of time one has in life; the joy one can find, in spite of the ticking away of one’s mortality. An acceptance of the beauty in one’s downfall is perhaps one of the most difficult things for someone to come to grips with, and also to present artistically for others to share in. Tom Woodward does definitely make an exceptional effort in this regard. The understanding of the relative insignificance of one’s life set within the grandeur of the universe is perhaps a cause for sorrow, but also for celebration of having the brief spark of life that we all have lit for us, and shortly thereafter, extinguished. We all fade, though the world keeps turning, and one day the world will stop “spinning round”, but the cosmos will go ever on, bringing new life into existence, and taking it away. How lucky we are to be able to feel sorrow, and savour serenity; how lucky we are for these ‘Beautiful Shadows‘.
Tom Woodward’s new album will be released on Wednesday, March 8th, and this journalist suggests readers keep an eye out, and support ‘Beautiful Shadows‘. To give a bit of variety, and to keep readers interested, here is another video from the album: ‘Flying on The 88‘.