The Deep Dark Woods Jubilee

The Deep Dark WoodsJubilee
On their previous album (2011's The Place I Left Behind), prairie roots-rockers the Deep Dark Woods produced themselves for the first time. Here, they made a smart move by recruiting acclaimed Californian producer/musician Jonathan Wilson (Father John Misty, Dawes). They holed up in a rural Alberta cabin, with Wilson helping add a rich aural resonance to the now distinctive DDW sound. Opening cut "Miles and Miles" has a layered psychedelic feel, akin to Besnard Lakes. That tune and three others were written by Chris Mason, though vocalist/guitarist Ryan Boldt again contributes most of the songwriting. His full-blooded, yet often haunting voice and poetic lyricism remain the key weapons in the DDW arsenal, as on "Picture On My Wall" and "Gonna Have A Jubilee." Vocal harmonies and the prominent keyboards and vintage synths of Geoff Hilhorst prove ideal embellishments, while new kid guitarist Clayton Linthicum impresses. Just as the pacing of the lengthy album threatens to become ponderous, the band roars back with two killer closing cuts: "The Beater" and the freewheeling, ten-minute-plus "The Same Thing." There may be plenty of the same things here, but they're executed superbly. (Six Shooter)