Woodson Black, aka Haux, has returned with a brand new single entitled ‘Eight’. The track is Haux’s first release since his 2018 EP and accompanying short film ‘Something To Remember’. Woodson is saved from cutting a solitary figure on ‘Eight’ by additional vocals from Rosie Carney who has previously supported Haux on the road and has played in his live band. The pair’s emotionally fuelled interweaving vocals are reminiscent of Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan’s mid 2000s indie folk, whilst the waltzing rhythm creates a haunting lullaby tone for this lush, nostalgic number.
‘Eight’ marks the close of a tumultuous year for Woodson and the starting of a new chapter.
Haux enjoyed a swift rise to prominence, releasing two EP's in quick succession (‘All We've Known’ in 2016 and ‘Something To Remember’ in 2018) which have since amassed 200 million streams and 50,000 singles sold. The audio success was matched by a sold out club tour of 11 countries in the spring 2018. But amidst the whirlwind, Woodson was struggling to keep up with his new found path. Things came to a head in early summer 2018 when Haux cancelled the remainder of a European run, including a high profile slot at Mad Cool Festival in Madrid and a scheduled acoustic performance at Heidi Klum's birthday party at which he’d personally been invited to play. Woodson returned home to the nature of The Berkshires, Massachusetts and largely hasn’t shared anything publicly until now.
Woodson credits ‘Eight’ with bringing him back into the fold of his Haux persona. He explains the song as “an eight-year old me processing the death of my aunt as I sat by her bedside”. The memory returned to him after meeting an eight year old girl who spoke openly about losing her father to cancer. “It made me wonder if she would still be talking about it so candidly when she was older or if she would bury those memories as I had”.
Feeling more sure footed, his frame of mind lifted by reading James Blake’s powerful essay on his own mental health journey, Woodson began planning his return. Up until ‘Eight’, Woodson had written, played, produced, and mixed every note of Haux - he was also the photographer for all Haux images & artwork, and directed his own music videos.
Standing where he was now, Woodson realised he needed to get outside himself and ask for help, whilst also return to the core reasons he began Haux which was to process his youth and the lingering effects of some trauma he experienced in childhood.
The addition of Rosie Carney’s vocals was a natural fit given the pair’s close working history, whilst production from Thomas Bartlett - who has worked with the likes of St Vincent and The National, and also produced Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Carrie & Lowell’ - was an equally natural fit in helping shape the sonic sensitivity of the song.
Speaking about his naturally emotive return, Woodson himself shares:
“‘Eight’ is a return to the nights of angst and nostalgia that shaped my adolescence as well as a return to the realisation that sometimes we can't always go it alone. I’m finally finding the words to tell the stories that have helped me step back into the light after many months of uncertainty. It is an ongoing process and it still scares me to share these stories but it is my hope that in telling them I find my way again."