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Deep Dark Woods
plus Kacy and Clayton

Wednesday 2nd May 2018

The Bullingdon, 162 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1UE

Doors 7.30 pm
Tickets £13 in advance, £15 on the night

The Deep Dark Woods’ new album ‘Yarrow’ was borne in a fever – scarlet fever, to be medically specific. A disease of the last century is a fitting backdrop for songs that dig bare handed into the loam to unearth the corpses of old English folk and country blues. ‘Yarrow’ is Deep Dark Woods reimagined by lead man Ryan Boldt, and accompanied by the same band that crafted prairie psychedelics and a "loose grungy folk sound" (Paste). 

Floods and plagues, ghosts and slaughter: woe to those who populate the songs of ‘Yarrow’. A gentle summer breeze swings the gallows ropes, flowers bloom callously on lovers' graves. These anthems are definitely not from Eden.

Since the last album their outlook is decidedly more macabre, tapping into a rich vein of gothic surrealism that aligns with some of the great murder balladeers of our time. With Appalachian soil under his fingernails, Boldt writes in a deep tradition of bleak and forlorn storytelling, drawing lines from Ireland to Tennessee, the Oxford Girl to Folsom Prison.

The Deep Dark Woods have developed an international following with particular success in the Americana realm, nominated alongside Alabama Shakes and Dawes for Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2012 Americana Music Awards. Originally from Saskatchewan and now based on the west coast, The Deep Dark Woods fuse spooky prairie folk with Texas country blues and California psychedelia.

The music of Kacy and Clayton exists outside of time, and burgeons with beautiful contradictions. It’s psychedelic and traditional, contemporary and vintage, melancholic and joyous. All at once, it showcases a slightly psych-folk sound of Linda Perhacs, Fleet Foxes, and First Aid Kit; rare country blues records and English folk tunes; and 1920s disaster songs and murder ballads. Their songs often are sugar-coated pills, tales of murderous jealousy, dilapidated graveyards, and infanticide, all delivered with Kacy Anderson’s sweet, lithe voice, and Clayton Linthicum’s hypnotic fingerpicking.

Their latest album Strange Country strays away from straightforward folk, delivering a sound that pairs Laurel Canyon vibes with Dustbowl-era drama. And for the duo, the subject matter is literally close to home. They’re second cousins who have grown up in the Wood Mountain Uplands, an isolated region of southern Saskatchewan. It is ranch country, very remote, with a landscape punctuated with hills, 12 miles from the Montana border. Neighbours were scarce, and their school bus ride was a long drive into town. “Where we come from it’s kind of a step behind society,” Kacy, 19, says, “We had a lot of time to take in our surroundings. Characters are still very strong.”

Their music has resonated far beyond Saskatchewan, earning them fans culled from their long tours across North America and the U.K. Clayton says it was a surprise to see that people in cities outside their small town connected with the music they loved. “You get the young record collecting nerds like us that come out,” he says, “and the more obsessive older crowds that were like those younger people 45 years ago.”