We Are The Woods
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We Are The Woods

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"“...unique folk pop... heartbreaking lyrics, and haunting melodies.”"

I think Jessie Murphy In The Woods sound like one of those pink music boxes complete with spinning ballerinas and awkward pauses. The NYC-based trio has wowed many with their unique folk pop melodies, Murphy’s heartbreaking lyrics, and their fun rendition of The Sound Of Music’s “My Favorite Things.” Besides being in a cute band and playing a plethora of musical instruments, all members are NYC public school music teachers. They’re singing their haunting melodies on tour promoting their new album, Eight Belles. - Aquarian

""Sufjan Stevens in heels.""

Most bands have an m.o., whether it’s simply the love of making music or the dream of power and influence. For Jessie Murphy In The Woods, the drive comes from Murphy’s desire to recapture a perfect autumnal moment from her childhood. And that desire has yielded songs that are literate, bright and haunting. The group is comprised of Murphy, Marcia Wood, and Amy Wood—all music teachers. Between the three you get a quixotic assemblage of woodwinds and brass, percussion and strings. There’s an economy to JMITW’s chamber pop arrangements that gives each idea its own space. “God Save Owen Wilson” is as funny as it is sad—the somber flutter of flute and a baleful horn in the distance juxtapose whimsically with a mock-heroic refrain about, well, Owen Wilson. The vibe is Sufjan Stevens in heels. “New York City Lights,” on the other hand, is folksy romanticism, sung without affectation. The orchestral, theatrical “In The Woods” tries to conjure the faintest whiff of that perfect autumn day, invoking the “virgin forest” with urgency. Even if the moment is forever out of reach, the music that’s produced in its wake is worth the loss.
- Ourstage

"Eight Belles: Skope Magazine Review"

Coming from the same anti-folk scene as Regina Spektor, Jessie Murphy in the Woods is made up of Jessie Murphy, Marcia Wood, and Amy Wood (All NYC public school music teachers) who play oodles of instruments ranging from a melodica, pan pipes to an auto harp. Their diverse musical talents (which are mind-blowing enough) meld into a soothing, genre spanning (funk, chamber and folk) and skilfully crafted songs that show an amount of skill hardly shown in music.

Eight Belles’ nine tracks take you on a musical journey that blends seamlessly into a aural orgasm. With songs about a tragic loss of virginity, an ode to the American blue collar worker, and a eulogy to Eight Belles (a filly who was euthanized at the 2008 Kentucky Derby). The songs blend layers of unusual instruments with multi-layered vocals, and have an almost haunting effect to them. Although, there’s an over reliance on a the echo peddle, and some might feel that their sound is too much like another anti-folk hero. The lyrics more than make up for Eight Bells pitfalls. They are smart, and refreshing and are laced with vivid imagery and intelligent references.

With songs like “God Bless Owen Wilson (He’s a lot like Me)” and “When I’m a Horse Again” you’ll have a hard time not falling in love with these three powerful ladies from New York who make you fall in love with them from the first note.

Review By: Shawn Alexander Roy - Skope

"Eight Belles Review"

Like many other indie kids, after a wild and rocking youth full of desdaing for all forms of tradition, we have slowly grown to enjoy folk music, in particular when it’s somehow “bastardized” – the redeeming quality! This is a concept that – although clashing with the immaculacy of their music – is pertinent to We Are The Woods. This NYC based group led by a female duo emplyos acoustic guitars and a variety of other instruments (strings, flutes, tubas, you name it) to craft beautiful, sophisticated and intense songs that are thoroughly enjoyable. The folk matrix is still audible, but here orchestral, pop and even psych elements take over the reins. As it often happens in softer music, the vocals are a crucial element, and the ladies deliver big time in this department. Their celestial voices (Jessie Murphy’s charismatic lead and Marcia Webb’s spot on backing vocals) transform good songs into beautiful, arresting gems. We are very curious to see this band live – the next opportunity is at Rockwood on September 24. - The Deli NYC

"The Deli NYC"

There’s something endearing and catchy about the non-traditional ways that We Are The Woods approach everything from their marketing to their lyrics. Strong voices, beautiful harmonies, and simple melodies speak volumes over the standard folk scene in Brooklyn and New York. Consisting of Jessie Murphy, Marcia Webb and Tyler Beckwith, the trio offers an interesting blend of quirky song titles that match perfectly with their music, songs that both entertain and make thought-provoking statements simultaneously. After captivating us at The Deli's CMJ "Rootsy Music Stage", We Are the Woods is working on a steady stream of singles to release following up their debut album “Eight Belles.” Don't miss them at The Living Room on December 16.
- The Deli

"Black Squirrel Radio Review"

Lauren Cupkovic | BSR Music

Eight Belles is a beautiful album that reminds me of the best part of the indie music experience; which is finding a song or artist you love, and then claiming it as your own personal treasure. New York based, Jessie Murphy In The Woods, is a band that deserves to be discovered in the vast genre of indie/folk. The trio consists of Marcia Webb (flute, pan pipes, clarinet, Wurlitzer electric piano, and vocals), Amy Stratton (horn, flute, vocals, and percussion), and Jessie Murphy (lead vocals, and acoustic guitar).

Eight Belles captures emotion and sparks thought within, because of deep mystical songs like “New York City Lights”, and “In the Woods”. She describes the only constant part or her life growing up in the city, "her one companion," was the New York City lights. More playful and whimsical sounds make an appearance on the album such as the tracks “Eight Belles, and “When I am a Horse Again”. Dark humor can be found in the profound song “God Save Owen Wilson.” Maybe it is an ode to his attempted suicide when they sing "he's got the funny and it rides him hard." In every song, Jessie Murphy takes the listener on a symbolic journey to a youthful past full of struggles and bittersweet memories.
Music is inspiring when it is honest, bursting with creativity, and heartfelt; and JMITW brings it all to the table. Jessie Murphy In The Woods could easily compared to the melodies of Regina Spektor or Anya Marina; but they are their own unique gem. They can be found on Facebook or at various local venues in NYC. Also they are currently touring in Los Angeles from March 27th to April 1st. So go ahead, dig into the realm of lyrics and chords, and add this glistening gem to your fancy treasure chest.
- Black Squirrel Radio

"Eight Belles: Icon Magazine Review Feb. 2010"

Jessie Murphy in the Woods is simply cool. We couldn't make up our minds on our favorite tracks. They are memorable ("Tour de Force", "Pretty Machine"), fun ("God Save Owen Wilson") and sometimes whimsical ("Eight Belles") and it's one of those albums that will be in heavy rotation for awhile. "Tour de Force" topped our February picks for 2010 with its sick drum beats, flute and crazy lyrics, "...catch me on the corner, catch me at the gym, catch me making out with the Doublemint twins." Eight Belles is the band's debut and Jessie Murphy's vocals bear a likeness to Leslie Feist, which is a plus in our book. Jessie Murphy's delivery is gentle and sometimes hauntingly beautiful. All three members are hot New York City public school music teachers. Catch them at The Knitting Factory on April 10. - Icon Magazine

"Feminist Review"


While some might not be into the cutesy, fairytale-like sound and lyrics of the New York City pop-folk group Jessie Murphy in the Woods, there is no denying the magical harmony produced by the three talented women. These five tracks, a demo of their debut album Eight Belles, are a collaboration project lead by singer-songwriter Jessie Murphy (vocals and guitar) and featuring her friends Marcia Webb (vocals, Wurlitzer, flute and pan pipes) and Amy Stratton (horn, flute, percussion and organ). The trio of women, all music teachers in New York City, met at Columbia University in 2008 while pursuing a Master's degree in Music. Since then they have toured both North America and the United Kingdom.

Noted for their anti-folk style, the group tries to avoid the constraints of stereotypical, over-commercialized music with their unique instrumental and vocal sounds. With a sound less pop than similar artists, such as Au Revoir Simone and Feist, the album is a beautiful mixing of clear vocals, bells, pretty harmonies, and poetically melancholic lyrics. This combination creates an ethereal, magical, and at times, haunting quality that resonates throughout the album.

The five tracks on the album have lyrics about life, horses and love lost, especially the loss of child-like innocence, a literary theme that many can relate to. While I am more attracted to music with an edgier sound, I can appreciate Jessie Murphy in the Woods' talent. Their smooth, lullaby style makes this music an excellent soundtrack to my cooking with my dear friend and roommate Sylvia, who is a creative fiction writer and lover of fairytales.

Starting off with the sorrowful “New York City Lights,” the album continues with “In the Woods,” which invokes images of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This is followed by the simplistic, pure acoustic sound of “God Save Owen Wilson.” Finishing off with their most popular songs “When I am a Horse Again” and “Eight Belles,” a eulogy to a horse that died in the 2008 Kentucky derby, the demo is a beautiful representation of the group’s songwriting and harmonies, and well worth a listen.

Review by Abigail Chance - Feminist Review

"No Reply - covered by Jessie Murphy In The Woods"


Yet another creepy Lennon song (the site's [http://thebeatlescompleteonukulele.blogspot.com/] done a great job of opening my eyes to a lot of Lennon's insecurities). The overarching plot of this one is a woman stalking Daniel Radcliffe whose passions are further inflamed by his nude acting in the Broadway play Equus. This is the furthest a cover has gone with its exterior subplot that I still enjoy. I think it's a marvelous translation of the original, dated source material. - http://faceintheblue.wordpress.com

"Music For Humans"


Jessie Murphy In The Woods is a trio that combines indie pop with dark humor and classical sensibilities. The band consists of Marcia Webb, Amy Stratton, and Jessie Murphy. All three are accomplished musicians in their own right but together they create a unique brand of soulful songs. There's an infectious joy in Jessie Murph In The Woods' new album, Eight Belles, that sweeps the listener in its wake. By turns ethereal, mystical, spiritual and haunting, the New York City based trio plays with a sense of wonder and discovery that makes them one of 2009's singular new acts to watch. If their music sounds like a fairy tale, it's fitting, for it's in its own glorious place and time.

The band features Jessie Murphy on vocals and guitar, Marcia Webb on vocals, Wurlitzer, flute and pan pipes, and Amy Stratton on horn, flute, percussion and organ. The three women met in 2008 while they were getting their Masters in Music Education. Jessie, a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter emerging from New York City's Anti-folk scene, with extensive recording and international touring experience, was at the outset of recording an album with producer Roger Greenawalt, when they both heard a need for some unorthodox instrumentation.

Jessie reached out to classmates Marcia and Amy and even at the first rehearsal it was clear that there was a magical dynamic between the three of them. Jessie states proudly, "We just had that thing right away; a combination of the right vibe and the right sound. We all knew very quickly that we were a band."

Audience response has been strong, for it's impossible not to recognize the standout quality of the band's baroque indie folk. The ladies just returned from a U.K. tour where they were featured on Cambridge University radio, as well as several other stations and university press in both York and Brighton interviewed the band for upcoming features.

On Eight Belles, you hear the sounds and magic of a band coming together. In 2009, the promise of a band beginning to bloom ecstatically beckons. It should make for a wondrous journey. - http://music4humans.wordpress.com/

"Listen to them now, don't wait another minute."


Jessie Murphy is so new, that they don't have an album out yet, but they have several tracks ready for Into The Woods, which needs to be released. The five songs that are ready to go blend chamber music with pop, and what comes out is something a little beyond ethereal. The title track is an upbeat celtic sounding ballad, with vocals that pull you in and hypnotize. Eight Belles has a childlike quality to it. Listening to it, you almost want to have a child around to sing it to. God Save Owen Wilson will make you smile while its chorus wraps magically around your brain, and that's a good thing, really.

Jessie Murphy is made up of...well Jessie Murphy, Marcia Wood and Amy Wood. All three are music teachers and they bring that experience to this album, by playing a myriad of instruments, that both dazzle and delight anyone lucky enough to listen.

Their sound is so unique that it has to generate notice and when it does, they are going to heard everywhere, as is fitting. Listen to them now, don't wait another minute. - Mossip

"Magic every time they step on stage"

"Magic every time they step on stage." - Wildy's World

"Tallest Tree In The Alt-Folk Forest"

"Young and talented, Jessie Murphy In the Woods soon might be the tallest tree in the alt-folk forest." -Triple Dead Heat - Triple Dead Heat

"Chicks With Guns Magazine"

If you combined Sex and the City, Alice In Wonderland, and threw in a little bit of Grace Slick, you’d have Jessie Murphy in the Woods, a trio of very talented female musicians from New York. Bohemian without being crappy, and Artsy without being yuppie, this all-female band of multi-instrumentalists brought the house down at Hippieland, USA. Now… I call it Hippieland, USA because it was a coffee shop in Venice that served seaweed shakes and fried sushi, but this review isn’t about that! It’s about the sheer awesomeness of Jessie Murphy in the Woods.

Before we get to the serious part of this review, let’s talk about the superficial stuff. Jessie Murphy in the Woods are HOT! Picture your childhood music teacher… now throw that image permanently out of your mind. What makes these girls shine is their musical intelligence (as 2/3 of the band plays multiple instruments) and the fact that they waltzed onto stage wearing matching white tutus.

Jessie Murphy (Guitar/Vocals), Marcia Wood (Wurlitzer, flute, clarinet, harmonica, pan pipes and vocals) and Amy Wood (horn, cajon/percussion, flute, melodica, autoharp and vocals) are all NYC public school music teachers. In their spare time, they take their unique brand of psychedelic and intricate folk-inspired music to audiences all over the New York metropolitan area. Last week, we caught them on a short tour of Los Angeles. (Karen Curley photographed them at their show @ Room 5 and I caught them at their show @ Hippieland, USA).

Folk/indie is boring… I can’t think of a nice way to say it, but it’s true… Indie is about as exciting as watching grass grow. This band, on the other hand is like watching a Rube Goldberg machine. This is not an exaggeration, Amy started the show off by playing the sleigh-bells with her right foot while singing back-up and playing the triangle. Amy and Marcia at times played multiple instruments at once, and busted out instruments people haven’t even heard of, like the melodica. Jessie’s no stiff either, her enchanting vocals and quirky lyrics make the band what it is… great!
Plus, they opened with a song about a horse told from the point of view of the horse. The show was comparable to Tori Amos on acid, or Jefferson Airplane without electric guitars.

Their debut album Eight Belles comes out April 20th. The album is several years in the making, and from what I’ve heard, is a must-have for your music collection. - Chicks With Guns


Whales and Roses (Fall 2012)

Eight Belles

* No Reply
* www.wearethewoods.us



We Are The Woods is a vital and stark declaration. It also happens to be true. We are an underground system of roots and tunnels. We are the love you feel for no reason and cannot name. We are the friends that only you could see as a child. We have your back everywhere you go.

The core of We Are The Woods is a family of three: Marcia Webb, Tyler Beckwith, and Jessie Murphy (special guests and visiting friends help make live shows the most dopely magical they can be). Jessie and Marcia (voices, guitar, keyboards, woodwinds) are two midwives of music and revelry that know how to get a party started in a medieval, throw down the gauntlet kind of way. Tyler (drums and percussion) is a charming, disarming, stone cold servant of the beat and the beat is always well pleased.

We Are The Woods hail from Lancaster, PA where they learned to cow whisper and Rumspringa with the best of them. All three went on to college and flourished like hot tomatoes in a green house, with the exception of Jessie’s one year at Berklee where she laid waste to her courses, earning F’s in music technology and arranging, and A’s in Mass Ave slumming and digging the Blues.

Marcia and Jessie teamed up officially while studying witchcraft and wizardry at Columbia University, but Tyler wasn’t far behind having already mastered a number of super powerful spells from ruling the runes at Penn.

When they are together they make a lot of esoteric jokes about the frailties of human biology that only people age 8 and younger can hope to understand or derive any benefit from.

Thankfully the music they make together has proved to be a genuine soul elixir and have rejuvenating effects for most people. For this, We Are The Woods, thanks their Moms, Dads, and Buddy Guy, Led Zeppelin, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and the Fleet Foxes.

We Are The Woods employ unique multi-instrumental and vocal abilities to create sweet genre-bending sounds. Combining Simon and Garfunkle-like harmonies with the wild horse spirit (and mane) of Robert Plant; they invoke the evocative lyrical precision of Emily Dickinson.

WRTW just finished recording a new album, Whales and Roses, with producer Jeremy Sklarsky (producer of Freelance Whales debut album Weathervanes) at Threshold Recording Studios in NYC. All three of them agree that it is the best damned thing they have ever done. They can’t wait for the world to give it hugs.

“One listen to "Eight Belles" proves that music is timeless. The beautiful songs and musical arrangements rival some of Pentangle's best work, but still feel fresh and contemporary. Give it a listen and you will be charmed."
-Edward Rogers, Atlantic Tunnel, East Village Radio

“...unique folk pop... heartbreaking lyrics, and haunting melodies.”

“There’s something endearing and catchy about the non-traditional ways that We Are The Woods approach everything from their marketing to their lyrics. Strong voices, beautiful harmonies, and simple melodies speak volumes over the standard folk scene in Brooklyn and New York.”

-The Deli

"You'll have a hard time not falling in love with [The Woods] from New York who make you fall in love with them from the first note."

“...one of those albums that will be in heavy rotation for awhile. "Tour de Force" topped our picks for 2010 with its sick drum beats, flute and crazy lyrics... Jessie Murphy's delivery is gentle and sometimes hauntingly beautiful.”
-ICON magazine

“…nu-folk fans will have a ball!”
-Americana UK

“Eight Belles” is an unexpected delight. The Woods have put together a delightful album that would appear to only scratch the surface of their talents.
-Banner Graphic, Indiana

"Sufjan Stevens in heels."

“Childhood nostalgia strolls through Eight Belles…Bright pop pieces, like “When I Am a Horse Again” and “Tour de Force,” have a brisk, positive sheen, but dig deeper and there is indirect darkness that pierces the songs’ surface sunshine.”
-Campus Circle