The Woodlands are Hannah and Samuel Roberston, a young couple who early in their relationship, learned that music was one of their great mutual passions. By the time they had met nearly a decade ago, Hannah had already written a few songs and was learning to play them on her guitar, while Samuel, who eventually taught himself guitar, began to play along. Shortly thereafter, he too, was writing his own songs.
But it wasn’t until after a seven-month stint in Central America, where the couple selflessly volunteered their time to orphanages and challenged themselves to comfortably live in a different country, that the Robertsons decided to move forward with their musical aspirations.
Upon their return to the U.S., the couple made Portland, Oregon their home and lived modestly while performing their songs to small venues in the area.
Deciding that they wanted to record an album, they created a small makeshift studio, using pillows, blankets and foaming material within a corner of their bedroom, and spent the majority of a year recording the songs they had written together. The result is a beautiful collection of simply-arranged, but wondrous and poetic sounds.
Independently released just a couple of months ago, The Woodlands features ten homespun tracks, each a gem in their own right, but perhaps best appreciated as one, continuous listening session, perfect for a mild, summer evening or a night spent by the fire. Fans of the Weepies will most certainly find joy here, but will be pleasantly surprised at the differences too.
Hannah’s voice is a lovely and airy whisper that never sounds brittle or strained. Perfectly controlled, its counterpart is Samuel’s masterful instrumentation, which effortlessly dances around her.
‘Summerland’ is a surprisingly contagious smooth and bouyant highlight. And on ‘King And Queen,’ a simple, continuous melody and its accompanying beautiful poetry are both hypnotic and soothing. Also noteworthy is the album’s gorgeous closing track, ‘Through The Winter,’ a soft and breezy gem that, if given the chance, will magically transport you to another place.
Since the album’s release, the Woodlands are now wishing that their music makes its way to as many listening ears as possible. And it would appear that those wishes are coming true. Famed radio station KCRW has recently featured the duo’s ‘Summerland’ as one of their “Today’s Top Tunes” and the couple have also began to receive radio play on FM stations both domestically and abroad, as well as album reviews in many countries.
The band can currently be seen performing in and around the Portland, Oregon area. For upcoming shows, be sure to visit the Woodlands MySpace page.