“For my last gig I performed with an eight-part choir, a string trio, a 50ft high church organ, a beat boxer and a guitarist, I just played piano and sang.”
Iain Woods, a.k.a. Woodsy, is the pretty spectacular protagonist creating layered musical mosaics of soul-chilling sounds under the alias of ‘Psychologist’. Tickling the ivories from the age of nine, little Woodsy learnt to play the piano with a deaf teacher, who he cites as the inspiration driving his modern day music making. Each haunting, spiritually-themed vocal train of thought Woodsy integrates into his instrumental choruses, feels disjointed, creating a hyper reality that is isolating and hollow. Slowing the pace with his provocative music, Woodsy’s techniques are born from his obsessive need to create the perfect noise. Solely responsible for the lyrics, instrumental scores, production, photography, videography and artwork within Psychologist, Woodsy is a one man machine who likes to be in absolute control of his work. The results are breathtaking.
i-D Online got the inside scope on where this unusual character came from and where his talent is taking him and popped into a church where Woodsy was sweetly singing about a pregnant male seahorse!
What’s behind the name? Literally, Psychologist means ‘one who studies the soul’, we think of it as a scary word in our harsh-sounding, Germanic language, but it actually means something really beautiful. I also like that it is ambiguous as to whether it’s me studying my own soul, or yours, or you studying my soul, or me asking you to study your own. It’s like a big impossible object that goes around and around.
Your techniques are very experimental and emotionally provocative what impact do you hope to have on audiences? I want them to feel slightly more intense and engaged for the four minutes they are listening to my song than the minute before or the minute after. I think music should heighten what is already around you.
Is your work biographical? Yes, but not autobiographical. It’s my biography chopped up and spliced together with loads of other characters, sometimes my friends or family, or characters from movies or books or news stories. ‘Look After’ is based on the invisible man and ‘Comes in Waves’ (seen in the video here) is about a pregnant male seahorse.
What are your plans for this year? To release Part Deux of the ‘Epidural Collection’ and to have a nice summer playing gigs, then start recording the album. I’d like a few surprises as well. Boring when you just do everything on the plan, innit?
Psychologist’s EP ‘Waves of OK’ is now available as an etched 12″ vinyl on Not Even/Moshi Moshi Records. The recording is part one of a two-part release named ‘Epidural’. Click here to see more from our i-N Session series.