OVO’s nascent superstar Roy Woods took the stage at Hollywood’s Dirty Laundry to perform songs from his stellar new album, Say Less. When I say he delivered, know that I mean it.
He bounded to the stage decked in chic specs and dark clothing. Jaden Smith took the show in behind a velvet rope, while a throng of fans pushed forward for a better look.
Roy has a stunning, haunting voice. It affects you immediately. He launched into his new material with a swagger more refined than most.
One live highlight was album closer ‘Undivided’, a song about losing yourself in intimacy – ditching the club for nights spent high as fuck with your lover.
Damn. That sounds nice.
Woods’ melodic ideas are stupendous. He mixes catchy motifs with a florid almost classical approach. This song is a great example of that; adventurous and infinitely hummable.
Another big moment was the title track, ‘Say Less’. This song has been making the rounds, and is the one we were all the most familiar with. Issa sing along, y’all.
It’s not incidental that a song called Say Less packs so much emotional punch. It details the contradictions and pitfalls of meeting new lovers and wondering whether you can trust their motivations.
Woods is confident in himself, declaring ‘..i found myself in my youth / time well spent in the booth.’ He brought that confidence to the stage, singing at the top of his range and drawing us into the narrative of a song everyone relates to.
He spoke from his clearly bleeding heart about the joy he felt releasing this album, the catharsis. He didn’t need to tell us, though.
His spirit fills a room from the first note. There’s something melancholy yet completely assured about him – it radiates. A performer who is 21 with this many gifts, this many refined tools, is a force to be reckoned with.
But more than that, he’s a generational voice, an avatar for the disaffection and unfettered assuredness we feel. I can’t wait to hear more.