Donovan Woods has just announced that he will be releasing his new album, Things Were Never Good If They’re Not Good Now, on July 12th via End Times Music.

Even on his seventh studio album now, Woods doesn’t mince his words and continues to be one of musicals most vulnerable storytellers. Taking things a step further on Things Were Never Good If They’re Not Good Now, Woods takes a long look inside and isn’t necessarily thrilled with what he sees. For an artist who isn’t afraid to bear his soul, this is as emotionally gritty as he has ever been.

Today, Woods has shared a first taste from the record, with the single “Rosemary” along with a video, co-written with Connor Seidel.

Have you ever had a fight by text message? And it’s long, and existential,” Woods begins to explain about “Rosemary.” “Someone did something wrong and maybe that’s it. Maybe the bond can’t be repaired. Well this song is about returning home to someone after having one of those, and offering yourself up. It’s about finally admitting all your faults, showing your actual self and asking, can you still love me? And really wanting an answer either way.”

As Woods notes with “Rosemary”, Things Were Never Good If They’re Not Good Now is about honesty; honesty with others, but also perhaps more importantly, being honest with yourself. Taking the time to stop running, and owning up to mistakes, faults, regrets. Not to beat yourself up about them, but rather to face them, accept them, learn from them, and to move forward. Hopefully a better, stronger and more open person.

Long known as a masterful storyteller, Woods may be at his absolute best on Things Were Never Good If They’re Not Good Now. Across the album’s 12 intimate songs, Woods finds himself reflecting on the ups and downs he has been through since 2020, when he dropped his acclaimed last album, the breakthrough Without People. Through his songwriting, Woods opens up and addresses the complexities of life, and all that he has been going through.

He notes, this album serves as “a funeral to the life I was living.”

Co-produced with longtime collaborator James Bunton over much of 2023, the album’s delicate nature is reflected in its lyrics. The psychology of people’s actions always fascinated Woods and informs much of the record. Focusing on carefree, celebratory feelings has never necessarily appealed to him. Many of the songs that comprise Things Were Never Good If They’re Not Good Now focus on the intricacies of friendships and relationships, looking at the little moments in life, and hopefully, eventually taking joy in them.

Woods was joined in the studio by a number of friends, along with co-writing “Rosemary” with Seidel, “Back For The Funeral” was co-written with Lori McKenna and Matt Nathanson. “I’m Just Trying To Get Home” with Amy Wadge and Matt Prime, and featuring William Prince. And “When Our Friends Come Over” is a gorgeous duet written and performed with Madi Diaz.

As Donovan continues to work on himself, Things Were Never Good If They’re Not Good Now is the portrait of a songwriter at his creative best. Addressing the truths and pains of life is never easy, and here, he does so in a way that’s brutally honest.

Woods will head back out on the road this spring across the U.S. supporting songwriter Drew Holcomb. Tickets available here.


Donovan Woods things artwork


  1. Rosemary
  2. 116 West Main, Durham, NC
  3. Trompsingel (Another Life)
  4. It’s Been Like That For A While
  5. Living Well
  6. Well Read
  7. Back For The Funeral
  8. Don’t Talk to Her at Night
  9. I’m Just Trying To Get Home (feat. William Prince)
  10. When Our Friends Come Over (feat. Madi Diaz)
  11. All Raked Flat