There is a crop of younger folk-rock musicians in Albuquerque who stand out from the crowd thanks to genuinely interesting songwriting and talented performances, and AJ Woods' eponymous new album clearly places him in this cadre of musicians. Backed by stellar local folk band Wildewood, Woods delivers his melancholy lyrics about existence with a certain cadence that heightens the appeal of his well-crafted and unpretentious poetry. People generally describe his music as haunting, which is as good an adjective as any. Best of all, I can honestly say that this recording isn't boring; Woods really knows how to sing a song, and there isn't a dud in this batch of ecstatic dirges. When it comes down to it, Woods' style is reminiscent of Bill Callahan or Jason Molina, the suicide behind Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co.―whose music conveyed a confidence in one's mistakes, the sense that regret and failure are ordinary―while still sounding original and somehow very Albuquerque.