With its chiming, 12-string Rickenbacker leads and boyish vocal harmonies, this is anything but a nod to Dylan.

“Tambourine Light,” the first previewed song from Woods’ eighth studio album, With Light and with Love, features more of the band’s signature chiming electric 12-strings—but don’t think for a second that it’s some kind of indie-pop nod to “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

If you’re at all familiar with the Brooklyn (by way of Warwick), New York, quartet’s discography, what stands out most with this new Woods song is how far the band has come since their early, lo-fi indie-folk apartment recordings. The first thing you notice is the warm, crisp fidelity—it sounds like they’re hitting 2" tape. And if you’re wearing some decent headphones (ditch the free white spaghetti wires already!), you’re in for a hard-panned treat.

There’s a rich, nicely tremolo’d electric guitar tone that softly undulates in the left can while the timeless-sounding 12-string leads dance around in the right can, ringing with the regal resonance of George Harrison’s Rickenbacker and Vox AC30. Add in the driving yet unobtrusive rhythm section, as well as Jeremy Earl’s androgynous vocal harmonies layered thick like lasagna, and everything about “Tambourine Light” is easy on the ears like a sonic brain massage. woodsist.com/woods

The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

Read More Show less

Megadeth founder teams up with Gibson for his first acoustic guitar in the Dave Mustaine Collection.

Read More Show less

A lightweight, portable amp series developed after months of forensic examination of vintage valve amps.

Read More Show less