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Woodbine

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Album Review

Dirty Vegas guest vocalist Susan Dillane's band, Woodbine, updates trip-hop with late-night electronic folk songs that recall both Broadcast and Beth Orton. On the Birmingham, U.K., band's debut, guitarist (and original Cornershop member) Rob Healy lays down dreamy, spare guitar riffs that pay homage to the Velvet Underground, Galaxie 500, and Luna, while Graeme Swindon's bass and beats take the group into Stereolab's territory — albeit Stereolab tipsy and confused at four in the morning. "Neskwik" finds Woodbine in a hazy half-rant of Cat Power wordplay cast against raw guitars. You get the idea that Woodbine could have been a punk band if the bandmembers didn't have such a gift for subtlety. "Been Where You Are" is so light that it seems to float out of the speakers, while calling to mind the moonlit shimmer of Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions or Mojave 3 without the sunshine. Thanks to mixing by Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux, the album keeps that atmosphere all the way through — the mix is somehow distant and intimate at the same time, like listening to music as you drift off to sleep.

Biography

Formed: 1995

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The U.K. indie trio Woodbine came together in 1995 when Rob Healey (guitar/keyboards) left pre-"Brimful of Asha" Cornershop behind for something more personally fulfilling. He hooked up with chanteuse Susan Dillane and guitarist Graeme Swindon to form Woodbine. Domino Records offered them a deal during their first 18 months and Woodbine prepped themselves for a debut album. Then nothing happened. By 1998, they'd saved enough money for studio time. Royal Trux's Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema mixed...
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Woodbine, Woodbine
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