I don’t know how many of you are paying attention, but if you’re not listening to Benjamin Woods and his project, The Golden Dregs, then you really are missing out on something special. The last single from the forthcoming Hope is for the Hopeless has him channeling something darkly beautiful, something along the lines of Cohen or Cave…and its not just the baritone speaking. My favorite line comes around 2:30: “and the Jesus on the dashboard is shaking/cause he knows there’s no way home.” But, this isn’t all clever word play and idealistic homage, there’s some incredible craftsmanship, particularly in the way the tinkering piano moves into the more prominent performance just after the 3 minute mark. The LP is out on September 27th and you’ll be sorry you don’t have it, if that happens to be the case.
We’re just over a month away from the release of the next album from the Golden Dregs, thus today warrants another single from the project. I think those of you who have found yourselves fans of Cohen or Waits might find some comfort in the baritone voice of Benjamin Woods, much as I do; it’s got this effortless croon, like only the hippest of lounge acts. For me, the success in this song revolves around the contrast in all the guitar bits; there’s this heavy groove that drives through the track, though its intermittently juxtaposed with this funky guitar line boogieing through the tune. Thus far, this might be my favorite off Hope is for the Hopeless; it drops on September 27th.
I’ve always been a fan of the Golden Dregs, especially when Lafayette came out back in 2018. But, not nearly a year later, Benjamin Woods and his project are back with a new collection of songs for your ears, Hope is for the Hopeless. I think he’s slightly changed his sound, though is storytelling and wordplay always remain central to his craft. This particular number reminds me an awful lot of old M. Ward, it has that natural warmth contrasted with this underlying darkness, perhaps because of Wood’s deepened vocal tones. I’ll always stand by and support if/and you’re offering of this brand of quiet elegance; the new LP drops this Fall!
Last year I spent a decent portion raving about Lafayette, the latest LP from The Golden Dregs, and it looks like 2019 might have another album in the works from Benjamin Woods and his project. We’ve got a new secret, offering up this smoky ballad, working over trickling piano lines while a throbbing pulse works beneath the mix. Benjamin delivers one of his strongest performances, though the arrangements in this song also deserve attention. I love how he’s left a lot of negative space out there, hanging and waiting to be filled…sometimes by nice cello work, other times by tinkering ivory keys; it’s a thoughtful turn in Woods’ songwriting craft, one that indicate grand ideas will be coming our way with that new album, slated for release later this year.
The work of Ben Woods and his project The Golden Dregs has always been high on my list of acts I wish more people would jam. Today, we’re sharing this new tune from Ben in anticipation of his forthcoming debut LP, Lafayette. There’s a lot going on in this track that you’ll find enjoyable, at least in my opinion. For one, there’s a classic Strokes-ish guitar sound that operates just behind the vocals in the mix. Then, there’s just a slight energetic discordant moment, settling the track back into the gang vocals for the chorus that are sure to charm your socks off. Lafayette is being handled by Art is Hard Records and Krautpop, releasing on Friday the 25th.
While it’s a bit of a bummer that Art is Hard didn’t roll out their usual Singles Club this year, the good news is that their still going to be sharing their great tastes with other releases. One of the first to pop up on our radar is the debut LP from The Golden Dregs. Musically, the song feels like a runaway train; the drums and guitars have a driving feel to them that’s inescapable. When Ben’s vocals enter the picture, they’re the calming force that holds the song together, ensuring you’ve got something to sink your teeth into whilst feeling out of control. Exciting things are afoot here; look for Lafayette on May 25th.
Art Is Hard Records continues their run of great hits with their 2017 Postcard Series by releasing this stellar tune from The Golden Dregs. This song hits somewhere in the realm of Bill Callahan or Silver Jews, yet it definitely has its own story to tell. The deep tones of the vocals drew me in immediately, followed by impacting lines like “I wish that I was sacred/I wish that I was right.” The only thing that bums me out about this song is that there’s just one, as I could easily let my day get carried away listening to this band.
It’s that time again. Art Is Hard Records have put out their latest Pizza Club Single, this time with The Golden Dregs…it’s the project of Ben Woods who’s done tons of great work with bands like Gorgeous Bully and the Black Tambourines. This time, however, he’s stepped out as the leader of the band, and what an exciting introduction to his own skill set. You’ll hear a bit of a country twang in the trickling guitar work, crafting an atmosphere that leaves the perfect set up for his relaxing vocal entrance. You’re going to dig this groove.
Download: The Golden Dregs – A Life Aquatic [MP3]