Wooden Shjips – “Red Line”

Five years ago, the great Bay Area space-rock quartet Wooden Shjips released Back To Land, their last album. They’ve been quiet lately, and guitarist Ripley Johnson has been busy with Moon Duo, his other band. But Wooden Ships are returning next month with V., their new album. (The period in the title is theirs.) We’ve already posted the deeply zoned-out seven-minute single “Staring At The Sun,” and now they’ve also shared a new track called “Red Line.”

Where many previous Wooden Ships tracks have combined spaciness with a true Hawkwind-esque heaviness, “Red Line” goes a different route. The song is warm and welcoming and almost folky. It also takes off into the ether with some twinkly backwards psychedelic guitar reels, as Wooden Shjips tracks will do. But both of the new songs seem to find the band in a softer, more contemplative place than we’re used to hearing them.

Speaking about “Red Line,” Johnson says:

This song is about trying to find equanimity as life continuously pulls you in different directions, emotionally and psychically. The bursts of backwards guitar are the sonic representation of that, being pulled out of your normal forward momentum, as the beat goes on.

Listen to the track below:

V. is out 5/28 on Thrill Jockey.