Donovan Woods and the Opposition
Donovan Woods’s new album is a study in contrasts, as one would expect from its name: Both Ways. On Both Ways, Woods shows the rare ability to distill complicated situations and emotions into songs that are intriguing and relatable. Perhaps the collection’s most beautiful song is “I Ain’t Ever Loved No One,” a duet with Rose Cousins. As Both Ways progresses, radio-friendly songs such as “I Live a Little Lie” and “Easy Street” employ a full-band sound to flesh out the sonic landscape. A number of the songs are guitar-driven, yet they stop short of full-blown rock ’n’ roll. Both Ways concludes with “Next Year,” one of five songs on the album he cowrote in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music.
Woods has earned nominations for the Polaris Prize and the Juno Awards. In addition, his single “What Kind of Love Is That?” climbed to No. 1 on the CBC top 20 chart, and his catalog has accrued more than 45 million streams. Woods also is notable Nashville writer, with credits by Billy Currington, Charles Kelley, Tim McGraw, and Charlie Worsham. NPR Music stated, “There are very few writers who can make you laugh and break your heart in the same song.” No Depression noted that Woods’s style is “as fresh and captivating as any out there.”