The Wooden Sky – Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
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.
After the success of their last album, If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone, however, they decided to regroup and try new things.
Hence, Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun began to take shape when the band gathered last year at a cottage along the banks of Georgian Bay, Ontario.
Conflicting schedules and studio availability delayed recording but gave the band time to continue writing.
“It didn’t take long for the record to increase in scope. What began as a simple collection of nine songs quickly ballooned into an 18-song opus; 13 of which ended up making the record. It did come dangerously close to being a double album.”
Listening to it, you may wish it had. There is much to admire here. Songs are steeped in classic folk-rock sensibilities and are warmly delivered.
The dusky Child of The Valley gets things started in quietly appealing fashion, amid a subtle blend of acoustic strums and piano chords, as well as delicately delivered and layered vocals. It eventually comes to life around the minute and 40 second mark, when an electric guitar solo kicks in and recalls Fleetwood Mac. But it settles back down and is a lovely beginning… a song born out of doubt that retains a sense of optimism.
Angelina then makes the first of its two showings… although it’s probably in its finest form late on, when it assumes a haunted status complete with beguiling female vocals drifting in and out. It exists to have a bluesy folk vibe, though, and is utterly addictive.
Dancing At My Window has a disarmingly bittersweet quality to it that’s utterly compelling, especially in the guitar work, while there’s an REM-style moodiness to the edgier It Gets Old To Be Alone that works well.
Malibu Rum, on the other hand, washes over you with sun-tinged guitars, beautiful female harmonies and some tinkling piano chords to offer one of the best songs on the LP. It’s effortlessly enchanting.
Elsewhere, Take Me Out has a classic sense of rock ‘n’ roll romanticism, befitting the likes of Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison, yet delivered in distinct Woody Sky fashion, while Your Fight Will Not Be Long has an almost Dylan-esque meets Cohen vibe about it.
Memorable, too, are the quietly assured City of Light, the melodic I’m Your Man and the blues ‘n’ country tinged album closer Hang Onto Me.
Put together, it’s a really great listen… introspective and low-key for the most part, yet beautifully realised and diverse in its own quiet way.
Download picks: It Gets Old To Be Alone, Angelina (Reprise), Dancing At My Window, Malibu Rum, Hang Onto Me
Watch the video for I’m Your Man