First Listen – Why We “Can’t Let” Jaime Woods Go


Either Berklee College of Music owes SoulTracks some advertising money or we owe them a major debt for all the great musicians they’ve produced, since we seem to profile graduates of their esteemed music school in a nearly unyielding stream. The latest in a run of young artists that has included Sid Sriram, Jessica Newry (formerly Jessica Johnson), Teodross Avery, Jeff Ramsey, and Lil John Roberts, among others, Jaime Woods has a purity of tone and a flair for harmonies that Jessica Newry and acts like KING have mastered on similar soul pop confections.

On the Chicago born, Brooklyn-based artist’s debut, it is easy on the openings of her songs to misjudge Woods as another coffeehouse acoustic folk singer whose arrangements go nowhere fast. Quite the contrary occurs on her latest EP, TROY, with Woods soulfully opening up each song flower petal by flower petal until you realize each is a blooming bouquet of sound.
While the six-track TROY is a consistent treat from start to finish, there’s something special about the gossamer light nature of “Can’t Let It Go.” It’s not unlike the kind of song that would’ve made its way on Minnie Riperton’s Come To My Garden or Rotary Connection’s Hey Love. Opening with a serene voice and Joe Harrison’s plaintive guitar in the minimalist folk tradition before the cut gives way to Aaron Liao’s upright bass, Jake Sherman’s organ, and a heavenly choral voices in the far off distance for an aural eargasm of “oohs” and “ahhs,” with Woods’ resonating soprano emotionally cutting through the harmonic tunnel of ethereal sound. Written, produced, and completely sung by Woods, “Can’t Let It Go” is just one of several reasons why now that we have this fresh-faced Berklee alum, we’ll never let her go.

By L. Michael Gipson

Jaime Woods – “Can’t Let It Go”


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