The Woodlands -s/t

The Woodlands - s/t

The Woodlands are a husband and wife duo that settled down from their world travels in Portland long enough to record ten of their dreamy folk-pop tunes for this quaint, self-released and self-titled LP.

The slow, acoustic-based tunes are mostly plodding, folk-pop frameworks colored in with piano, harmonica, and an occasional stringed instrument, with the subdued and whispering crooning of Hannah Robertson hovering on top. The songs are gentle, slow and amiable, occasionally building textural tapestries with soft instrumental touches, but are mostly rendered benign since they are often under-developed and tend to lack the quaint peculiarities that would make them flavorful enough for a second helping.

The folk melodies and the persistently wistful vocals often evoke the dreariness of the Pacific Northwest’s gray, foggy mist, while some bright flourishes add a warmth and fuzziness to a couple of tracks that impersonate Gypsy-like lullabies. But it’s nothing to get too excited about since they’re neither grabbing nor contagious and act more like threadbare window dressings to the repetitious song structures and their gentle acoustics.

The Woodlands play folk-pop that burns slowly with a smooth, mellow light that fails to yield much of an emotional response. Even the endearing vocals wear thin over time and while the music isn’t bad, it’s just not varied enough to keep things interesting.