Some releases you have to experience in a live setting to fully “get.” I’ve been at countless shows where I left with a better appreciation or understanding for a new record. This also applies to Ben Woods sophomore album Dispeller which is out today, although I haven’t seen him perform in real life yet.
When I received the advanced stream of the record, I did not know what to think. It simply was too far from what I normally listen to. But then Woods released a short film with three live performances that changed how I feel about the record – watch the 15-minute video below, I particularly like the middle song (Hovering At Home) starting around 6:52. It starts slowly and timid, but explodes at the 8:08 mark in the coolest way.
The short film is beautifully directed and showcases the complexities, the layers and labour of love that went into the songs on Dispeller. Having watched the video, I’m listening to the record with fresh ears. I still don’t know how to describe it though. The press release talks about the New Zealand artist leaning “comfortably into intuition and abstraction,” and “experimenting with the disparate and the disharmonious.” But I’m not sure if that helps. I think Ben Woods’ music is just meant to be experienced – in the morning with some coffee, or during late night walks.
Dispeller is out today via Shrimper Records (U.S.), Meritorio Records (Spain/EU), and Melted Ice Cream (N-Z).