The Deep Dark Woods – Winter Hours [Album Review, SXSW 2009]

by That Guy on January 28, 2009

Is it just me, or is 2009 already the best year for music ever? We’ve got some serious gems headed our way very soon and February 17th is poised to be this year’s Indie Music Super Tuesday. Both M. Ward and The Deep Dark Woods are releasing albums and the fine folks at Black Hen Music were kind enough to give us a sneak peak at DDW’s latest effort, Winter Hours. It is phenomenal. It makes me want to cuss.

Oz and I have had access to it for a couple weeks now and we’ve both been listening to it nonstop and sending each other embarrassingly giddy emails talking about how much we like it. I honestly can’t get enough of Winter Hours. It’s gotten to the point where I’m starting to feel like Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain and poor Winter Hours is Jake Gyllenhaal. I wish I knew how to quit you, Deep Dark Woods.

Woody first introduced us to The Deep Dark Woods with a glowing review back in January of 2008 (occasionally Woody hits one just right), but I’d contend Winter Hours is even better. Twangy slow rollers like “All The Money I Had Is Gone” and “The Gallows” draw you in on the first listen. And the more you listen to the album as a whole, the more it starts to sound like a timeless, magical masterpiece. The arrangements are absolutely gorgeous – The DDW deftly blend acoustic guitars, pedal steel, some keys, and even toss in some banjo and strings for good measure. But what stands out most are the vocal harmonies. These guys will absolutely melt your face off.

Okay, let’s end with a little giveaway. The band was nice enough to offer a free CD to a lucky reader. We’ll have it mailed out to the person who sends the most creative run-on sentence about how Barack Obama is miraculously saving the music scene in Canada. Please send responses to freeshit@hearya.com asap.

The Deep Dark Woods – All The Money I Had Is Gone

Stream Polly, The Gallows and The Birds on The Bridge on their MySpace page and let ’em sink in.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody January 28, 2009 at 12:42 pm

DB, thank you for the kind words. I do agree that this album is better than its predecessors and they are on my must see list for Austin.

Kristen R. January 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm

The Brokeback Mountain mention threw me off a bit but it’s great to read another good review. These guys are fabulous!

oz January 28, 2009 at 9:20 pm

This is my favorite album of the year so far. Justin Townes Earle is in second place.

You’re right, DB. It’s a subtle creeper that truly takes shape after about 5 or 6 listens.

nittanyroar January 30, 2009 at 3:55 pm

What I have heard so far on here and myspace is VERY good…even on my shit speakers. Oz is absolutely right about it being a subtle creeper. I love these kind of albums because they seem to reveal more and more with each listen and in turn get better with age. Look forward to hearing the whole thing.

My only complaint is that I can’t get Polly out of my head.

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