“I write about them again and again, just hoping people will still be interested,” the acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter says. “So the title is poking fun of myself, that I’m theoretically this big sad guy who keeps getting dumped and writing songs about it.”
Or you could think of it this way: Woods’ deep curiosity about the human condition is why we so clearly hear our own stories in his. The details differ, the characters change, but at their core, Donovan Woods songs are for and about everyone.
Big Hurt Boy is the follow-up to 2020’s Without People, Woods’ celebrated album he made in isolation at the height of the pandemic. Whereas those songs were recorded in a makeshift studio at his Toronto home, with collaborators working remotely, his latest release harnesses the electricity of a roomful of musicians laying down tracks live in the studio, a first for Woods.
Released on Wood’s Meant Well label, Without People was acclaimed as “a nuanced experience” (American Songwriter) and a thoughtful exploration of “fleeting interpersonal moments now under the microscope” (NPR/KUTX). So much of that album’s allure was rooted in how Woods connected with his collaborators and imparted the intimacy so many of us craved during a global health crisis. It was so successful, in fact, that it led to a deluxe edition of Without People in 2021.