Exclusive Premiere: Will Wood’s passion spills over in “Cicada Days”
The new single “Cicada Days” off of Will Wood’s upcoming album is a wild exploration of human emotion. True to its title, cicadas buzz in the atmospheric opener of the track, sending images of past summer nights to the mind. The sweet sound makes way for the pleasant strumming of a ukelele and guitar in unison, and Wood’s trademark poetic lyricism comes to light. He paints vivid images of nature with phrases like, “And if you get lightheaded when standing too fast/Is it from shaking out the weight of phosphenes and pasts?/Salt deposits on warm little rivers that burst from our words.”
With a lap steel guitar and mandolin, (courtesy of Mike Bottiglieri) and piano by Wood, the intensity and power of “Cicada Days” swells. The colorful story paves a path that crescendos through shifting moods and genres, while Wood’s words paint a deep parallel between a part of life coming to an end and nature’s splendor. Wood sings, “Salt deposits on warm little rivers that burst from our words/And god knows crying ain’t gonna change a thing.” As the song grows, Wood’s voice grows in passion, echoing and straining, while new adages of drum and guitar ring out and intertwine in lovely sonic webs. The instrumental builds to form a canopy of sound, moving and running wild with emotion. The lyrics shift, too, from sweet to painful, the reality of a loss becoming too real, emotions spilling, and the music grows still. Wood’s piano line takes center stage as he sings the heartwrenching lines of, “Don’t let me leave, I’ll only take more than I gave. Okay, I’ll pack my stuff/Here at the end of days, my god, what have I done?/Christ, now it feels damn inhumane to get all I’ve dreamed of.” By the end of the song, everything has changed from the initial sweet simplicity to a passionate alternative rock sound, matching the shifting mood of the story Wood tells of an immense feeling of guilt for moving on. Like in old hymns, Wood ends his song with a simple “amen” and a long, deep breath, a showing of great release as he fights the inevitable end of those “Cicada Days.”
Written and produced by Will Wood himself, the alternative musician recorded “Cicada Days” for his upcoming album In Case I Make It coming this summer. He said of the single, “This upcoming single has a really wild trajectory in sound. It’s basically a whole different song and even genre by the end. I took some real risks on the production and I think it pays off.” He was inspired to make the song after seeing the parallel between the life of a cicada and people. “Cicadas spend the vast majority of their seventeen-year life cycles underground. They chew on roots for the better part of two decades…I guess cicada days could either be a long time spent growing but not emerging, or they could be days spent struggling to become something new that doesn’t quite pan out so great.”
With this track in particular, he felt compelled to follow a new path musically. “The big, noisy final chorus was kind of a limb I went out on while making the demo for this one. I didn’t have a bridge or the last chorus, and because I was no longer looking at songs as needing to always be some anthem-like I used to, I was willing to risk ruining it by trying something new…I feel like this track is a pretty essential example of the ways in which I’ve changed as an artist and as a person over the past couple of years.” Keep up with Wood on his website here for more, and listen to “Cicada Days” below!