Get Your Burdens Lifted

Jesse Woods

Guns In The Sun Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Now more than ever, it seems that Austin, Texas is a breeding ground for weirdness among musicians. But the debut album from Jesse Woods steers clear of any new sub-genres, instead relying on the warm, sparse blend of country and folk ideas into an often haunting, lo-fi, psyche-fueled haze. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Get Your Burdens Lifted begins with an acoustic guitar, tropical feel and the hushed pipes of Woods on “Walk Along Cattle Drives,” which very subtly brings to mind Brian Wilson. This leads into the beat-friendly and fuller rock sound of “Cold Blood,” which seems like a sharp turn into different waters after the quiet opener, but makes sense as the album unfolds. The middle of disc stays strong with the quick-paced “Broken Bottle,” the slow-burning “Lazerburn,” which brings in cellos and whistling, and the string-heavy “Danger In The Dancehall”—easily one of the best tunes here, as well as one of the lushest.

The last few songs bring in dreamier soundscapes with “Chain Gang,” the sparse “Gold In The Air” and the closing, sad sounding “Tumbleweeds.” He does throw in another louder rock tune with “Elijah,” which breaks up the melancholy with more fierceness.

Jesse Woods does on his first album what hundreds of similar songwriters will struggle to do over a career—write a perfect album. Woods will draw comparisons to household names like Jack Johnson as well as newer names like M. Ward, and his acoustic picking, poetic wordplay, soulful harmonies and strategic placing of whistling, strings and orchestral ideas should help him to make a name for himself. Though it's only nine songs and half an hour in length, Get Your Burdens Lifted leaves a lasting impression of timelessness, beauty, introspection and aching, gentle songcraft.

Rating: A

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