The Woods Drops his new EP - Night Silk Treads
“Night Silk Threads is about the interconnectedness of late night city dwellers. The fleeting connections & tensions of crossed paths, intertwining encounters & hidden stories. Each of us in a different state of limbo & consciousness.” Johnny McFadzean, The Woods
About ‘Night Silk Threads’ (Single)
A wistful synth note rings out. It presages The Woods’ stunning new nocturnal single ‘Night Silk Threads’ “We’re all tangled webs of night silk threads / Wandering aimlessly to different beds” go the first couplet, and through its propulsive percussion and the addition of subtle layers ‘Night Silk Threads’ is a song for the fragmented experience of human night of the cityscape. It is a song for the lost, the found, the wanderers, the workers, the homesick, the drunks, the lovers, the lovelorn, the grieving, and the mad and the muttering. Johnny’s poised and tender vocal is built up through a nuanced and melodic production approach that by turns builds up and pares down the minimal arrangement to make for a slick and poignant introduction to the EP which shares its name.
About ‘Night Silk Threads’ (EP)
Night Silk Threads is an EP about “the subtle tensions that connect and affect people, sometimes unnoticed, sometimes deeply felt” says Johnny McFadzean. Recorded in London and Galloway, it is the first EP to be produced by McFadzean, and it’s mixed by Tony Nwachukwu and mastered by Shuta Shinoda. It’s an experiment in music and lyricism, and how they can be interweaved in a soundscape to make something greater than the sum of its parts. In ‘Stand Down’ McFadzean notices a play on words in the phonetic similarities between the phrases “take a stand” and “take us down.” He riffs on this motif to suggest how thin the line can be between defeat and defiance. Elsewhere he examines the role of self-directed fate in ‘Greater Than The Parts’ and ‘Armchair Expert’, the former a song about the incremental actions that lead us into relationships, while the latter is a self-affirming song about doing away with the cynics and the backseat drivers in our lives. In the EP’s closing salvo ‘Starstruck’ sucks us in like the heady days of blossoming love with a hypnotic arrangement of looped vocal harmonies that’s Queen-like in its intricacy, while ‘Beat A Retreat’ sees McFadzean’s fixation with glitched-out soundscapes come unbounded. Night Silk Threads is the work of a master, in love with the joys of creation as he produces work that’s both deeply personal and subtly provocative.
Greater Than The Parts
Armchair Expert - Watch video below
Night Silk Threads
Beat A Retreat
About The Woods
“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string… In the woods is perpetual youth” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
That composer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and loop artist Johnny McFadzean became such a musical polymath is perhaps unsurprising given his singular upbringing. Recognised as a prodigious singing talent as a young child, Johnny was plucked from his home in rural Scotland to join a world-famous choir, leading to what can only be described as several surreal experiences for a 10-year-old, touring the planet and singing twice at the Sydney Opera House as well as on a BBC Christmas broadcast which necessitated a cover shot for the Radio Times!
These remarkable events nurtured a deep love of classical music in young Johnny, whose tastes broadened over the years as he became more aware of alternative music, jazz and electronica. All this has been channelled into Johnny’s solo project, The Woods, where haunting vocals meld with intricate beats and textured harmonies, leading to comparisons with James Blake, Four Tet and Beirut. The Woods’ debut EP was crafted in 2015, gaining airplay on BBC Introducing, 6 Music and Radio Scotland. Since then Johnny has focused on developing and disseminating the project’s unique atmospherics, in terms of both songwriting and production, in the studio and on stage. His EP ‘Night Silk Threads’ represents the first taste of The Woods 2.0.
NB: The moniker ‘The Woods’ 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.
See The Woods live
Fri 7 June: Sunset Sessions, Treyarnon Bay, Cornwall
Wed 12 June: The Victoria, Dalston London
Sun 16 June: The Boogaloo, Highgate Festival, London
Fri 5 July: Xpo North Festival, Inverness
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News story provided Lost In The Manor