Don’t get too grand. That’s good advice for a songwriter. It’s also the title of Donovan Woods’ new album, a collection of indie-minded folk-pop songs that focus on straightforward melodies and smart, simple arrangements.
Already a hit on Canadian radio, “Put On, Cologne” finds Woods crooning his way over handclaps and acoustic guitar chords. It’s the sort of homespun, shuffling thing you’d hear in a coffeehouse or around a campfire.
“This song, which can probably be considered a ditty, is a rather bitter thing I wrote a couple years ago,” Woods tells us. “I wrote the chorus melody first and didn’t think much of it. But it turned into one of those things that you can’t shake out of your hand. I’d sit down and automatically play it without knowing I was. I figured there must be something there, so I finished it. It’s got a blustery, kind of wistful feeling that I’ve always liked. This recording of the song was originally a demo, but we liked it so much better than the actual version that we mastered it and put it on the record.”