Wooden Shjips – “V.” (2018) review
Wooden Shjips – V. (Thrill Jockey, 2018)
Couch-bound intoxication …
With the star filled nights of summer just around the corner, like satellites drifting effortlessly across the velvet sky, Wooden Shjips have drifted in with their most sustained luscious and intoxicating album V..
It’s an album that morphs and unfolds ever so gently, impossible to grasp in its ethereal nature, like remembering the Summer of Love in all of its beauty and splendor. It would be easy to say that V. is just one more in a series of albums from the band, though this delivery is lightyears apart from anything you’ve heard before, filled with a sense of blissed out space and expansion, a swirling musical landscape that draws the listener in ever more deeply, wrapping them in warm blankets embroidered with planets, fauna and haunting mystical imagery, sonically bringing to mind Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side,” where Wooden Ships take us on a narrative voyage not out past Saturn this time, but rather sustaining a presence of place and time, right there in your backyard.
V. is not beat-driven, the album is very human in nature, both serious and playful at times, laced with riffs that don’t carry you anywhere, but effortlessly nudge you forward and back, seeming like a conversation just out of earshot that you dearly want to discern, yet in the end, give up and simply let the boys spirit you where they will. And not surprisingly there’s also a more concerted effort at layering the music in order to create that drift of body temperature currents and calming interplay.
Without a doubt, V. is a wayward couch-bound stoner’s delight that makes no demands, yet offers to take you wherever you and who’s laying head on your shoulder, wish to go. Though perhaps Wooden Ships do have a vision on their horizon, a place somewhere in the future, about seventy miles west of here, where it’s lighter, and V. is a postcard from that place with sky-blue skies … all I know is that I’ve been there, and I promise you, it’s a delightful adventure.
Vinyl has been pressed in Red (first 500 copies), Blue, White and Black.
– Jenell Kesler
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