Photo by Dave Scanlon
The latest from Ethan Woods is being described as both freak folk and psychedelic folk, but it's fairly straightforward for those designations... kinda. "Mrs. Moo" (named after a character in Woods' childhood created by his father) starts off with a recorded introduction that you don't typically get in folk, along with some clanging percussion. Once Woods kicks in with his vocal, it becomes a fairly typical folk song, at least for alt-folk or freak folk. But then the samples keep popping in and out, and there will be a horn playing way off in the distance somewhere. What truly makes "Mrs. Moo" a freak folk or psychedelic folk song is how Woods balances the odd and traditional within the song.
In a press release, Ethan Woods talks about his new single and video:
"I made this video as a 1-to-1 translation of the song's lyrics. All the footage was shot by me and my partner on our phones between 2017 and 2019 while we were living in Asheville. The video features a world where slapstick coincidences are at odds with cosmic synchronicities. Found footage of me and my friends are juxtaposed against verses about a childhood lost, imposter syndrome, and missing the cows of New England—all to surprisingly comical effect. The whole thing climaxes with a hurried sequence of misfires set to the last verse, in which I repeat the line "why do I try?" Like the music itself, the video is very autobiographical, maybe in part my attempt at a self portrait. There's footage from my day job as an arborist, classes taught by friends at the now defunct Cabbage School of Western North Carolina, a dance party at my best friend’s wedding, the legendary KFC chicken of Marietta, GA…culminating with a shot of a person literally flying (I won't spoil exactly how though)."