Ead Wood return triumphantly on ‘Who’

Somewhat in contrast to the unhurried and lackadaisical sensibility that permeates their offerings, Bristol slacker-rock professionals Ead Wood have been mighty busy since they last appeared in our pages two years ago. 2021 saw the release of delightfully pelagic EP Songs In The Quay Of Sea, followed with charmingly off-beat debut full-length People, Stories, World, Etc a year later. This consistent output is more impressive when we factor in the highly energetic touring and release schedule of DIY heroes and Wax favourites Langkamer, with whom Ead Wood frontman Ed Soles plays guitar (among several other instruments). 

We find Ead Wood a year later still with new single ‘Who’, ahead of their third EP A Sparkling Gift in November. As ever, ‘Who’ is a contemplative rasher of strolling indie-pop that draws upon the infinite pool of ‘the everyday’ for its subject matter. Here, though, we’re more focused on the impermanence of our identities and the intrinsic pliability of self-image – the closing refrain ‘who do you want to be’ underlining these themes succinctly. We’re gently, affably reminded not to get too caught up in our work, not to disappear too far into the trivialities of our constructed lives on this spinning Earth that we ‘forget what’s fun’, or even ‘how to feel alive’. Despite what life might toss our way, we are always able to change and become our most authentic self – we just need to find our true confidence and let go of our need for external validation. 

This is all put together by a warmly woody and reedy instrumental, nylon-stringed guitars and smooth clarinets operating in a manner reminiscent of Andy Shauf. There’s some crunchy guitar riffage and a lovely little bit of tambourine in later sections, but it all stays quite contained. That’s not to say there’s no dynamism, but more to say that it remains cosy and well-furnished throughout – a bit like the setting of the track’s video.  

Ead Wood always gives the impression they’re really thinking – deeply and calmly  – but few can present commentary on the mundane as singularly as they can. As is often the case with Ead Wood, there’s a real sense of companionable intimacy here – like you have with that friend you haven’t spoken to for a while, where you know that no matter how long it’s been you can just pick up right where you left off. 

Words: Ed Hambly // Photo: Ryan Anthony Wilson

‘Who’ is out now, taken from forthcoming EP ‘A Sparkling Gift’ out November 10th. Stream and purchase the track via Bandcamp.

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