The Scottish experimental composer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and polymath loop-artist Johnny McFadzean, also known as THE WOODS, creates textured harmonies that fuse restless voices with complex rhythms and lead to comparisons with artists such as James Blake, Four Tet and Beirut.
‘The Woods’ epithet is a nod to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings on nature and self trust. Emerson’s texts were crucial in inspiring Johnny to make music the focal point of his life : “They kind of rewired my brain at a time I needed rewiring,” says the musician.
Now he’s released ‘Armchair Expert’ — a song to all those petty-minded & opinionated keyboard-warriors out there who seemed to have obtained little or no sensible knowledge from their armchair studies at the much vaunted “University of life.”
Given the convictions behind “Armchair Expert” it is entirely appropriate that the song is written, recorded and produced in its entirety by Johnny McFadzean himself, i.e. The Woods. Even the video [shared below] – is a glorious stop-motion short that finds the singer in and out of a red leather armchair encircled by the debris of music & life – and it was a DIY project too, setting a magnificent example of what can be achieved under one’s own steam.
The sound of the “Armchair Expert” is like a soft and tremulous wave of vibrations, with a trembling voice that reaches the topmost flutter-wing of a dragonfly in flight.
Then the melody skirts the jewel-like lacings, of tiny taps and beetle-wing notes, so intricately and perfectly that this sends tiny moonbeams directly into your heart.