Into the Woods: Noah Woods, 22, is a Polyphonic Spree unto himself. He captures a classic pop sensibility, with a well-tuned ear for folk-pop and sunny soft-rock vibes.
Sincerely yours: Emotive and animated, Woods communicates with urgency and warmth. Not one to shoe-gaze or pout in canned MTV poses, he says he aims to inspire his listeners and connect with them. "I would like to bring a refreshing new act to this scene. I want to bring a new crowd together," Woods says. "I try to write music that makes you feel good about yourself, music that gives people hope that everything is all right and that life is good."
New to our neck o' the Woods: Originally from Rockville, Md., Woods moved to Tampa Bay a couple of years ago to attend the University of Tampa.
His 2007 self-titled CD: Mostly self-recorded with the help of some friends, it features a fairy tale-style cover illustration by John Franklin Philip of Charleston, S.C., and impeccable engineering by Tom Morris of Morrisound.
New direction: He's seeking a producer for a new CD and says he has completed 25 songs. He says it will be "folkier" than the current one.
Vintage influences: The Beatles, James Taylor and Paul Simon.
Current pop star he digs: Ingrid Michaelson
Loopy multitasker: Live, Woods performs live loops — recorded repetitions of sounds — and busts out random objects and instruments. He displays them with the glee of a child saying, "Look what I can do." He shakes on stuff, bangs trinkets together and turns on a Dustbuster, which he says only works on tunes the key of C. He conducts all these manic hijinks while singing and playing acoustic/electric guitars, keyboards and percussion. "I will sometimes go to the supermarket in search of my new sound," he says. "I will use pill bottles, vacuums, maracas, water bottles, cans, spoons, beat boxes, etc. ... The looping is a ton of fun, though, and I am making it a signature of my act."
A Beautiful anthem: Woods wrote the sweetly melodic Beautiful Creatures after the release of the self-titled CD, and it has quickly become a crowd favorite. Listeners shout the title throughout his set, requesting him to play it. "I just started playing Beautiful Creatures out, and everyone always clapped a lot and would always give me really awesome feedback," he says. "I then decided that this song needed to get out. It's about the beauty in all humans and how we all must learn to live with each other. We may not be going in the right direction and that change needs to happen — peacefully."
Hear him: Friday at 9:30 p.m. at Sacred Grounds, 4819 E Busch Blvd., Tampa. Free, but donations are welcome. (813) 983-0837.