If you’ve ever been in a band, you know that sometimes the most beautiful songs appear effortlessly, like they’ve been dropped into the room by some divine presence. That is not the case here. In the two years that Wallace Woods has been actively woodshedding songs, the work has been steady and decidedly not painless. The five songs on this small-batch debut EP represent months of negotiations, alternate versions, jettisoned arrangements, and the kind of minute tweaks that only the four band members would detect. Not that Brian Martin’s songs are fussy or unnecessarily complex. Personal, small-scale, and sometimes novelistic, Martin’s tunes are acoustic-ready, but when Brian Baker, Chris Mueller, and Andy Hittle got to work on this particular collection, they wanted to get it right, and week after week Wallace Woods built, scrapped, and rebuilt scaffolding around these fives patient tunes-only to have them further pried apart by wily producer Mike Montgomery at Candyland Studio. The result of all this work, of course, sounds unforced: Martin’s songs are soothed by a modest, thoughtful band that only wants to make something beautiful.
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