Woolbright are gearing up to take over the world with their debut full-length Busybody Lazybones, which takes pieces of punk rock, emo and the voice of an angel to poise itself as breakout of the year, at least in my humble opinion. The record starts with no introduction because when you have solid musicianship, it’s sometimes best to just get right into it.
Candice Maritato, who started Woolbright a few years ago, also takes the charge of starting the album with her soothing voice, leading in the rest of the group. The first track “Symbiotic Harmony,” is such an apt name as it perfectly describes the way Woolbright’s music exists. Each piece flows seamlessly, filling in the spots that each other notch out. The bass and drums play great together while Josue Vargas’s lead work is masterful without being overpower.
One of the most unique things about Woolbright is that it is very much the sum of very unique parts. Each member has completely diverse musical backgrounds and areas of expertise, but when they come together, they find ways to turn common tropes indie rock sideways. Gabe’s [Drums] wide background of math rock, hardcore and noisy jazz offers up so many tools and directions that Peloso [bass] rounds out with thick basslines. The doomy outro of “19th Street,” and the driving goodness of “Spine,” are perfect examples of rhythmic masterpieces.
Adding to the solid foundation of rhythm is the space that Candice owns with her refined vocal delivery. She weaves in and out of falsetto’s, glides effortlessly with her harmonies and ties together phrasings in a wonderfully nonconforming way. She stays in her vocal comfort zone but only because it seems that she is comfortable everywhere vocally, which is not an easy feat for any musician, especially to sound so absolutely natural doing it.
Although she is the lead vocalist, Maritato has the intuition to know when to share her vocal space, inviting playful leads from Vargas into the mix, as is the case with “What’s It Gonna Be.” She comes into frame to create the picture of the song but also lets the airy leads paint shades of mood between her words. Vargas’s predilection for jazz is very apparent in his leads and the group seems to know each other so well that they embrace that mathiness, but without alienating their audience, who is mostly likely more into harmony and melody, not blue notes and key changes.
Picking up the elegant pieces the group has, Woolbright switches into a more pop oriented mode for the “Clean.” Their approach to a more streamlined song is interesting because it is very digestible for the mainstream but has endless nuggets of their unique flavor and sound. The way the fuse the pop element into their blend of jazz and elegance is one of the most exciting things about them. They could just as easily write their songs to exist in the realm of avant-garde obscurity with the amount of virtuoso musicianship each member possesses but Woolbright has the foresight to write very inclusive music that is perfect for rainy days or a relaxed cup of coffee at 3 AM.
“Sock Drawer,” is probably the most intense song by their standard, musically. Maritato’s elegance and vocal prowess proves to be a much better foil for the open tuning style of twinkly leads. If you were to cherry pick through the album (which I would not recommend), this song is a must listen.
Closing out with “Air,” Woolbright vibes out with some fun effects and entrancing layering. The track quickly crescendos into an all-out fuzz fest with ethereal harmonies from Maritato filling up the ceiling of the song. Going back and forth between smooth, open segments and huge walls of sound really lets the album end with a bang.
For those scrolling to the bottom for at TLDR, here’s the deal: Busybody Lazybones as about as honest as you can get, created with all the best intentions and with the full attention of each member. Their musicianship is par none and they are some of the best people ever. Follow them on Facebook & Twitter and for the love of all that is wonderful in life get their album when it comes out August 9th via Whelmed Records because it really is the best thing to come out of South Florida since that last time I made that statement (which I don’t remember but it has weight to it, so believe me). Listen to their new album, Budybody Lazybones here!