Hailing from Brooklyn, rising singer-songwriter Solo Woods recently debuted his first material in nearly two years–a restive, slow-burning guitar ballad that’s a clear step above his previous track “Long Ways.” Nearly hypnotic in its structural simplicity, “Powers” is lulling and provocative but tinged with burdensome sadness. When Woods, who co-produced and wrote the track, sings, “I can hear my mother’s call/ Louder than the powers of them all,” it’s difficult to overcome a creeping sensation of death, as if what Woods hears is a mere echo of a memory. As SoundCloud user Ivan Roberts points out, the line is a lyrical and melodic reference to the title track of Funkadelic’s 1973 LP Cosmic Slop. But the frenzied melodies and dense coils of rhythm on “Cosmic Slop” bear little resemblance to this stark and deeply vulnerable kind of songwriting–at least not until the bridge, when bass guitar and drum emerge to lay down a brief but utterly delectable ounce of funk.
Stream “Powers” above and check out a live video of Woods performing the track at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade below.