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“Settle Down” – Woodlock | Review

There’s a hint of hope in the heartbreak; there’s beauty in the breakdown. The new one from the guys of Woodlock takes a stab at illustrating a very grown-up idea: Finding peace isn’t as simple as being content in a given moment. It’s more like coming to terms with what’s gone wrong and owning it. When you’re moving beyond the burnout, “Settle Down” feels like a good omen. It’s a break in the clouds.

Press play and find yourself surrounded by shimmering layers of bright, acoustic guitar, a Vampire-Weekend variety of cheerfulness, and an addictive synth-riff that would make Brandon Flowers proud. The performances on the track are tight and clean. The vocals boast a distinctive Brit-folk quality—kindred to a Ben Howard production. The guitars are sweeping and wide open. The percussion: light, sparkly, and bouncy. Perhaps the trio is inspired by fellow Aussie Luke Steele. Regardless, they’ve managed to craft something fresh while paying homage to some of the best music of the 00’s. It’s bands like this that are keeping indie rock alive.

Woodlock is Bowen Purcell on drums with brothers Zech and Eze Walters on guitar and vocals. “Settle Down” is a preview of the Australia-based trio’s upcoming full-length, The Future of an End. It’s set to drop February 26, 2021 through Nettwerk Records. The brothers have found themselves in different places emotionally this time around, but that hasn’t stifled their ability to create. In fact, given that the individual writers are coming from different headspaces, the album as a whole is bound to be a focused commentary on how life’s intersections aren’t so black and white. They’re in the shades of gray, and that’s where the magic is.

The new single sounds as though it were thoughtfully curated by Zach Braff to be included in a new, generation-defining indie-rom-com. It’s the type of song that reminds us of who we used to be and how much what we once listened to defined our identities. Woodlock has done more than just write a song about a feeling. They’ve written something emotionally resonant. The lyrics form an introvert’s Arcadia. Words and music are used to generate a comforting loneliness—a feeling of “home” even when no one’s around.

Written by Matt Kalicky

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