Donovan Woods was in on the joke when he named his latest release. Riffing on a lyric from a Martin Simpson song (“Never Any Good”), Big Hurt Boy is a six-song exploration of how our failures — and our fixations on them — not only shape but enlighten us. “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 fucking songs about it.” That’s particularly apparent on his new EP, which will be released March 18, 2022. Trying to capture more of an “undone” quality, Woods wanted his latest songs to “get back to the feeling that my early recordings had.” You hear that in the spare, subtle ache of “No Time Soon,” an acoustic monologue Woods describes as “the story of my whole life.” “These are smaller, less polished songs than the ones I’ve been putting out recently,” says Woods, winner of the 2019 Juno Award for contemporary roots album (for Both Ways) and whose global streams have surpassed 210 million. Still, Big Hurt Boy brims with some of the luminous production touches Woods has been adding to this repertoire lately. He wrote the album opener, “I Won’t Mention It Again,” on banjo, which fades into a spectral backdrop of electronic textures and layers of lush harmonies.