Deeply rooted in psychedelic, drone and garage rock, their influences don’t hide too far under the wavy surface through which these Wooden Shjips ply through. And sometimes, especially in weeks like these, I’m simply in the mood for a mellow and familiar vibe that I can relax and float by on.
Wooden Shjips is a Portland by way of San Francisco foursome who deliver a seemingly meandering but in truth quite focused sound. Frontman Ripley Johnson keeps his voice perfectly placed, awash in echoes and light in a subtle undercurrent that fits perfectly in between they layers; a slow steady beat, a simple acoustic guitar rhythm, a scruffily and slow distorted electric lead guitar, spacey organ keys. Some have said the comforting blanket of clouds that often swaddles Portland has helped guide “These Shadows” and its sister tricks on Back to Land to a more introspective vantage point.
That may be true, but the sunlight still glitters unselfishly and Wooden Shjips have plenty of room aboard to take more passengers searching for a soundscape background as they set sail for whatever might lie ahead.
Close your eyes, rest your head, and soak it in. Enjoy.