Published Sep 23, 2016On his new EP, Donovan Woods gets meta from the get-go. They Are Going Away's opening track, "What They Mean," begins by describing a boy listening to the radio, wondering what all the fuss is about in the love songs pouring out the speakers. It's a hushed, acoustic track that makes the Sarnia, ON-bred songsmith sound like he's singing the youngster a lullaby as much as teaching him a lesson about the lovelorn lyrics he was asking about (though lines like "Tryin to speak louder than your heartbeat" are certain to leave impressions on both the songs protagonist and real-life listeners).
Two of the EP's other four tracks are just as subdued and nuanced. While the slow tempo of "What They Mean" is somewhat enchanting, it might put off more impatient listeners who will be thankful for the tension-breaking, upbeat "Drove Through Town." Yet, despite boasting driving percussion and flaring guitar, "Drove" feels somehow every bit as wistful and melancholy as the EP's quieter numbers, as Woods describes quarrelling with his partner before climbing behind the wheel and speeding off along the loneliest of routes.
These elements show just how adept Woods is at soundtracking the struggles of gruffly sensitive fellows — from the boy in the car's backseat, inquiring about love, to the man he'll one day become, driving through empty roads and pondering the same unanswered questions. (Meant Well)