Woody Cood has found a place where what could have sounded like expansive sonic baggage and casual conversational ramblings feels not only fresh but honed to a very surefooted sound and deeply somber lyrical theme. The album “The Needs of Percy Veer” isn’t grasping at any frivolous ideas or sounds – it is perfectly conceived. Here a multiplicity of sounds and ideas have collided to form perfectly sculpted songs, each well-constructed and more than subtly sending out substantially important cautionary messages for society. Released on Sept 2, the album tells the story of Percy Veer, who feels the need to comfort, help and guide abused women to a better life. However, across the album’s 9 tracks, Woody Cood poses the question: “Is Percy Veer a hero, or is he just exploiting the women with another form of abuse?”
The searching lyrics, sweeping keyboards, chilling orchestral tones, resonant basslines, clean guitars, and throbbing drums flip between downtempo tones, to upbeat and expansive sonic edginess, as each track brings its own sound variation. The common denominator is Woody Cood’s pure, unadorned voice and the focused storytelling.
The range of songs on the album evoke a number of feelings, and cannot be pinned down exactly in genre. Perhaps the most marvelous thing about “The Needs of Percy Veer” is the appreciation it gives the listener for Woody Cood’s songwriting, which is of an elevated stature. The glimpses into the singer-songwriter’s mindset that each one of these songs grant the listener is simply fascinating.
If you are a fan of Woody Cood’s previous works, this album will not disappoint and if you are new to him, this album is a fantastic introduction to his world. “The Needs of Percy Veer” is sonically beautiful in its instrumentation, and lyrically brutal in its profound observations. It takes time to appreciate and unpack all the nuances and complexities of this album, and that is where the magnificence lies in Woody Cood’s music.
Woody Cood is an artist who doesn’t shy away from life’s truths; who plays the cards as they fall. Right from the almost playful and upbeat opening track, “Living Off Pennies”, Woody is submerged in the deepest part of creativity’s ocean, and moving forward through the album, he is pulled deeper into its undercurrent. Twisting pads and electric pianos embellish “The Artist”, while rolling percussion and washes of strings dominate the Doors-like sounding “Depend On Me”.
For me, the album reaches an artistic apex on “This Is My heart”, the understated, but intense sonic backdrop, tinged with oriental flavors, forms the perfect foundation for Woody Cood’s moody vocal delivery. In fact, this middle section of the album is absolutely on another level, both sonically and vocally. Songs like the rhythmic “The Way Out” and the stripped down “Take A Chance”, capture so much atmosphere and emotion, that it’s impossible not to connect with them.
One instrument that Woody Cood uses sparingly but brilliantly throughout this album is the sound of the saxophone. Sonically, the sax is able to add a layer of pathos to music that few other instruments – with exception of the violin or cello – can match. The album moves forward with the synth driven “Alpine Adventure”, before we encounter the bass dominated groove of “Menace Begins With Men”, and then the closing track “A Long Way In Life”.
Throughout this album, when Woody Cood sings, there is a moving sadness to his baritone voice, which lends itself perfectly to the overarching theme, and makes “The Needs of Percy Veer” a hypnotically beautiful and heartfelt album. The atmosphere is so immersive that the album benefits from listening on headphones.
MORE ABOUT: Woody Cood started to write songs under his moniker during the lockdown, blending pop, rock and jazz genres. His first album “Covid Chronicles” (2021) was a musical diary, offering some of the thoughts and the fears in Britain at that time.
The follow-up album, “Someone Like Me” (2021) became a take on the ‘boy meets girl’ story, while he third album “Woo-ed, Coo-ed, Shoo-ed” (2022) looks at the different stages of the dating process – from the initial wooing to the head-over heels cooing, and finally the shooing when being discarded.
Connect with Woody Cood on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Woody-cood-music-101111492532497