WOOZY - BLISTERED (Cover Artwork)




Slow-cooked to perfection over several years in the heat and humidity of New Orleans, Woozy’s debut, full length album, Blistered, showcases an effort that is in no way entry-level. Irreverently indifferent towards genre pigeon-holing throughout its 41 minutes, Blistered, could be “square-pegged” into shoegaze, experimental / ambient rock, post-punk, sad pop or any number of semantic-driven subgenres, but they’d still be “round holes”, incomplete—the album is to be heard rather than neatly classified. Harmonious and cacophonous all at once, Kara Stafford (vocals/guitar), John St. Cyr (vocals/guitar) and Ian Paine-Jessam (percussion) create an orchestral wall of over-driven, warm and fuzzy sound; notably, there is no bass guitar, but listeners are not left wanting. For every part vocal melody, the music comes back with an equally abrasive rawness that will keep you on your toes throughout all 10 tracks.

“Venom” is a welcoming and well-fitted introduction to the album as a whole. Energetic, with their characteristic ebb and flow of soft and hard, quiet and loud, the naming logic becomes apparent in the song’s final, scathing lines, “talking shit with your new best friends / that you made when you lost everything / what’s the point in having / when you are nothing”.

Beginning as a distortion-driven adrenaline shot to the heart, in particular contrast after the ethereal ending to “Clouds Rush In”, “Painted White” is a perfect example of Woozy’s range, seamlessly transitioning from aggressive to ambient in a little over 3 minutes.

A true testament to the vocal powerhouses that are Stafford and St. Cyr, “Gilding the Lily” is a standout—less classic duet and more conversational, the lyrics intertwine in their off-cadence, bleeding together two sides of the same story. While St. Cyr pleads: “I want you to know / you’ll always be my home”, Stafford interjects: “when California drifts into the sea / that’s when you’ll find me”; before the song’s finish their voices meld into the last lines, echoing, “it feels like you’re all around”.

“The Lurch” is aptly-named, as the song itself lurches from soft and smooth to a heady guitar solo and hypnotic, cantered final verse without missing a beat. “Another Way Out” is a build-to-burst duet, repeating “and you will sleep ‘til the days wilt / sleep ‘til your dead / and I still wrestle with old guilt / sleep when I’m dead” with increasing momentum--you may think the song will let you down gently, but it’s not over ‘til it’s over, in the most pleasant, crunching way.

The final track, “Fade Like A Sigh”, does anything but. Heavily and experimentally percussive, the abrupt, cymbal-crash ending cannot help but be construed as ironic, a ‘ha ha’ in contrast to the title. The crash snaps you back to reality and the album as a whole leaves you with the warm, bleary-eyed feeling of waking from a dream.

As stated before, Blistered carries itself with a calm and collected confidence not typical of a debut, but inherent in quality craftsmanship--if this album is any prediction of things to come, fans of Woozy can only be excited for what the future holds.