If you’re looking for something to do this Halloween, look no further: Duke Coffeehouse is bringing in Woods and Widowspeak for a hauntingly good show.
Brooklyn-based Woods infuses the band’s characteristic nostalgia of dreamy sunshine pop and folky reflection with the occasional distorted soundscapes or romping rhythms. Frontman Jeremy Earl’s eerily pure falsetto shares somber lyrics coated in sweeter tunes, tambourine and harmonica solos.
All of Woods’ records have been released on Earl’s label, Woodsist. Hugely prolific, the band released their latest record, Bend Beyond, just over a month ago. This particular album was meant to, as best as possible, capture the band’s live sound. Said band member Jarvis Taveniere, “We wanted to capture more of that liquid motion that happens when we’re on stage.” The resulting record showcases a more polished effect than in previous albums, while still upholding Woods’ reputation as today’s genre-crossing embodiment of 1960’s jam-bands.
Woods’ Australian tour starts in mid-January. Until then, Widowspeak will be joining Woods for their remaining American performances.
Fronted by singer/songwriter Molly Hamilton, Widowspeak was conceptualized in Tacoma, Washington before kicking off in Brooklyn. After a set at the 2011 CMJ Music Marathon in New York, Widowspeak has become more established and recognized. Their songs comprise of Hamilton’s crooning timbre and two rippling guitar lines that intertwine old rockabilly with the new, creating a hazy but versatile allure.
Widowspeak, like Woods, emanates mobility, creating for audiences a sound that is made up of experimental and foreboding vibes, all set in a Western backdrop.
The two bands are sure to put on a Halloween show with good atmosphere, steady head-bopping or foot-tapping and some stellar dancing. Not to mention baristas—and maybe even performers!—will be in costume, plus the potential spontaneous post-show dance party that is no stranger to the Coffeehouse. In addition to Woods + Widowspeak, the Coffeehouse has three more shows scheduled throughout the final week of October.
“We reach out to bands with a good fit to our aesthetic,” said Coffeehouse Promotions Director Clare Fisher. Fisher said the aesthetic changes “with the spirit of the Coffeehouse.”
The upcoming acts include Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s and their “melody-driven pop with teeth,” performing October 26 with Gentlemen Caller. Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard, an anti-folk outfit from Brooklyn, will be playing for their third time at the Coffeehouse, performing October 28 with Dolfish and Cottontail. And on October 30, Hop Along, a gritty rock group from Philadelphia with an album released just last May, will perform with Celebrity Jeopardy.
Fisher explained that the music scene is shifting and that Durham has become a token stop for musicians. Through past relationships, increased word-of-mouth and outreach, the Coffeehouse is booking a greater number of shows, retaining its prominence as a music venue in Durham. The hope is for more and more Duke students to attend shows.
As Fisher put it, “A show is a show, and it’s gonna be fun.”
Doors for Woods and Widowspeak open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 or free for Duke students. For the full roster of upcoming shows, visit dukecoffeehouse.org.