There’s something magnetically engaging about W00dy, the moniker and electronic project belonging to Baltimore-raised, Boston-based Catherine Woodcock, a classically trained vocalist who has been recording music since she was 16 years old. Having shared her creations on Soundcloud for the past few years, she captured the reigns even further by self-releasing a cassette and digital download of her album RNBW one year ago. This move garnered positive press, and a bit of a cult following here in Boston and elsewhere, which led her on a multi-city tour.
Brooklyn’s Fire Talk Records were among many to take notice, and this week presents her Timberdoodle, EP, which gets an official release of Friday, August 19.
In advance of the new record, and as we emerge from her tour kick-off last night at the Blue Door in Boston, Vanyaland sat down with W00dy at Life Alive in Central Square with a Loco Coco smoothie and The Cure and David Bowie playing overhead to chat with the warmhearted musician and DIY queen about her transition from pop proclivity to the noise scene, community involvement, and spreading environmental awareness through song.
Georgette Bibber: Who or what influenced you, in the beginning, to start making music?
W00dy: In high school, Lights was really inspiring because she produced all of her own music. I was also obsessed with Lady Gaga for a while when Born This Way came out. They have really strong presence and stand up for themselves as women within the industry. My early recordings were poppy and dreamy and I was still figuring out my voice.
Do you have more aggression now?
Well, I went to Berlin in the winter of 2012 and had an incredible experience seeing unique free-form artists with differing directions. I was into the fact that there were no rules. I started improvising on my own time and went to my first noise fest in Sacramento. I met people who were welcoming and accepting. There are open-minded people you meet which validates not making music for any audience. It’s got to have some grit or else it just feels a little weird.
Let’s talk about the process of releasing your music…
I have some older experimental tracks up on Soundcloud still available to listen to as well as my older EP, Vault. I did some label shopping for RNBW but I thought maybe this is a good thing to have control over everything and self release. I went really far with it on my own, which was a good feeling. I am really grateful that I had the experience, people heard it and that was cool. Fire Talk found me so I started recording after my tour and all the songs on Timberdoodle have been made within the past year. When it comes to the artwork I have been working with Mona Maruyama on design and photography, she is really incredible and great at seeing my vision.
Tell us about how the name for the EP manifested?
The Woodcock is a symbol in my family, we have antique plates with the bird around the house. I found a VHS at a dump in New Hampshire that highlighted conservation efforts and mentioned the fact Timberdoodle is another name for the Woodcock. It’s about roots and family. There is a song called “Outside” specifically about nature and sitting in my backyard taking in the air. Also the first track called “One Year” is about water crisis. I wrote it when the California drought was all over the news.
Do you think about fitting in?
I’ve hopped around different scenes. Right now I am involved with the techno and club scene but it’s tough to get them to come to my shows. Community, however, is really important and we can all work together and help each other out. Organizing the experimental showcase and more for the E-Volv Tech Festival was a really special time. The main goal was to have people enjoy themselves and become inspired. We thought creatively and managed it in a very DIY manner. Where I grew up in Maryland, I didn’t have resources to learn so I want to make that available to women and non-binary performers. We all need support.
What do you have planned for your upcoming nine city tour?
Tour evolves. I have a few new songs I wrote in the past two weeks which will be featured, but also of course music from Timberdoodle. When people hear my music I want them to feel accepted and loved and comfortable in their skin. I want the audience to have their own experience. DJ Pink0 is coming with me on tour to do DJ sets and get the crowd going. My official EP release show is in New York at Legion Bar [tonight], I made some new merch patches and have bottled herbal tinctures as well!
W00dy Timberdoodle Tour:
8.18 NYC @ Legion Bar [W00dy EP Release]
8.19 Providence @ CR
8.20 NYC @ ALPHAVILLE
8.21 Philadelphia @ Lava Space
8.22 Arlington, VA @ Galaxy Hut
8.24 Chapel Hill, NC @ Nightlight Bar & Club
8.26 Baltimore @ Helly
8.27 Greenfield, MA @ Jaume I
8.28 Dover, NH @ Wrong Brain Click the header link for more information about each venue