With his latest single “Seeing Other People,” Canadian singer-songwriter Donovan Woods delivers his recognizable stinging lyrics on love, while providing a window into what his upcoming album’s production has to offer.
Woods recently announced his seventh studio album Without People, which includes the already released new love day-dreaming soundtrack “Clean Slate,” and the confessional, subtly pissed-off “Grew Apart.” Along with this latest, all three tracks have a greater expanse sonically, specifically in the use of more instruments and their production. It’s a definite departure from Woods’ sound on The Hold Up, which presented more of a one-man with a beanie and an acoustic. An alluring element of Woods’ sound is the raw quality of his voice, the lyrics that quite simply can break a heart, and the consistently catchy, rhythmically enticing choruses that tie everything together. Even with more emphasis on strings and percussion in his projects these past few years, these key lyrical and vocal features don’t fade into the background - if anything they are magnified.
“Seeing Other People” is the softest of these new tracks. It’s also the saddest. Woods is best when he takes advantage of the anguish behind his voice, the seemingly simple words that sum up an entire post-relationship panic in one line. “I was okay with you seeing other people,” he admits softly, “‘til I saw other people seeing you.” Although not just one man and a guitar, this song appreciates the power of a single instrument. It opens with a lonely guitar that leads us into a bigger chorus of harmonies. It closes with an aching piano note. Woods may be growing in his production, but he isn’t forgetting his roots.
The upcoming Without People carries an arsenal of co-writers including Katie Pruitt, Ashley Monroe, and Dustin Christensen. The album is expected November 6th.