Initially formed as the bedroom project of singer / songwriter / guitarist Gavin Gardiner, Toronto-based country-folk / indie rock collective The Wooden Sky have grown exponentially throughout the years—both physically and figuratively. Spanning three records, several EPs, countless well-received tours, and dozens of collaborators, the group’s development over the past decade can be used as a measuring stick in the Southern Ontario scene they’ve helped to curate and sustain. Their reverence-turned-subversion of accepted notions in Americana-based music have made them tireless innovators, consistently finding new wrinkles within a genre as broad as it seems ageless.
Attaining the peerless chemistry of The Wooden Sky’s current line-up wasn’t easy, but fleshing out rough ideas with dynamic band mates working together towards a collective goal, each step has been a progressive one for the Toronto natives. With Andrew Wyatt providing supple bass grooves and Simon Walker supplying aural texture with his guitar arpeggios and layered keys – and both men bolstering weary melodies with high lonesome harmonies – the band found themselves growing into a fully realized, collaborative unit rather quickly. Tied together with Andrew Kekewich’s subtle percussive restraint, the four men solidified a line-up that has earned them prominence as both studio creatures and road sojourners.
With When Lost at Sea in 2007 and If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone in 2009, the Wooden Sky have slowly assembled a catalog of diamonds in the rough; hard-won songs encompassing regret, dusty roads, lost souls, and urban life that have struck a nerve with a legion of music fans passionate about the very human stories the group tells. Determined to incorporate both the devoted and the freshly converted into their narrative, the band have built a reputation for themselves by challenging the status quo of modern live performance. On the Bedrooms and Backstreets Tour – a trek that saw the quartet playing in a variety of unusual and idiosyncratic venues, bringing them greater intimacy with the crowd – they shored up a healthy dose of both esteem and notoriety in Canada and the United States. The importance of enhancing the rapport between artist and audience has been a vital aspect of the Wooden Sky’s success, earning them a familial connection with their fanbase that transcends the mere live recreation of studio recordings.
The group’s commitment to consistent reexamination and reinterpretation of their own discography has led to a newfound depth in arrangements that extends to the highly anticipated follow-up to their 2009 break-through album, the ghostly Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun, via Black Box Recordings on February 28th. The key to the Every Child…’s success is the enormous but very organic space you feel between instruments, mingling with an open and honest form of storytelling and the intuitive interplay between band mates. Enveloped in a warm, rich bed of support behind the emotionally naked vocals, the dissonance lingering amongst the recording is breathtaking. Shifting from lilting, fingerpicked folk ballads and rustic, sepia-toned country twang to skipping indie rock and contemplative ruminations on days gone by, The Wooden Sky create a secret world where not-quite-forgotten memories return as ghosts. On this rich tapestry of atmospheric sounds and salvos, the past is never far behind.
The Wooden Sky will tour across their homeland of Canada as well as selected American cities throughout February, March and April to support Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun. Check the group’s tour dates to see their highly acclaimed live show in a city near you.
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