Toronto based artist, Donovan Woods, shares the new video for his recent single, “Seeing Other People”, from his upcoming LP, Without People.
Woods says of the song:
“To me the song is about, not only watching someone you love move on, but coming to terms with the realization that not only do you have to learn to let them go, but you have to be happy for them… I think the video is watching a fella do just that. You’ve got memories to hold on to, but the journey of adulthood always includes learning to live without people in one way or another. At the end of the video, I suppose we see him begin his journey.”
For many musicians, the coronavirus-caused quarantine put a halt on creating new songs; however, award-winning singer-songwriter Donovan Woods adapted quickly from his makeshift home recording studio to create his new album Without People.
While the album was created by musicians who were all contributing remotely, it encompasses the most intimate moments of human connection — something most people continue to yearn for more than five months into the current global pandemic.
On Without People, Woods showcases his ability to illuminate the importance of tiny moments in relationships – from the innocent, unadulterated first blush of budding love on songs like “Clean Slate” to the complexities of the father-son dynamic on “Man Made Lake” and the appreciation of a lover’s grace in one’s weakest moments on the Katie Pruitt duet “She Waits For Me To Come Back Down”. On “Lonely People”, celebrated British singer Rhys Lewis delicately echoes Woods’ sentiments about wanting to be alone – until you’re suddenly lonely.
“This album made me think about how easy life would be without other people, and how useless it would be,” says Woods. “This is what my brain wants to write about, so I suppose my responsibility is to follow it further and further into the most fearsome feelings I’ve got.”
Woods recruits co-writers Tucker Beathard, Ashley Monroe, Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson, Thomas Finchum, and Katie Pruitt to create a lyrically-forward collection of songs bound by themes of the human condition. Long-time collaborator and producer James Bunton (David Myles, Vivek Shraya, Evening Hymns) and vocal producer Todd Clark (Dua Lipa, Noah Kahan, Phillip Phillips) round out the musically diverse creative team behind the album.
“I dove in deeper on this album than I ever have… So if we are coming to the end of something, I can say that I tried my hardest to write truthfully about the people I’ve loved and the things I did wrong, and add my little verse to the story of what it feels like to be a person.”
For the release of Without People, Woods is committed to supporting individuals in marginalized communities. Woods launched his Humans of New York-esque Donovan Woods With People Project on July 29, championing independent creators from North America, United Kingdom, Sweden, Kenya, and beyond across a diverse range of art mediums including graphic design and illustration, painting, dancing, and more. Woods is collaborating with the artists from all over the world to create visual interpretations of each song on the record.’ Watch the second time-lapse video created by Sweden-based abstract artist Stephan Nilsson.
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.