Three in the morning is still my favourite time of day. Even as I get older and my bed starts to call to me I cannot stop myself from making coffee and putting on a record. The latest offering by Canada’s The Wooden Sky is perfect for those times. It is a record full of mystery that draws you in and takes you along for a beautiful road trip adventure. They have a hauntingly raw ramshackle sound about them, which they have been perfecting since their debut back in 2007. Now with their third album Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun (their first release for Loose Records) they have created an Americana storytelling gem.
The album opener Child Of The Valley is hypnotic in its beauty with haunting breathtaking backing vocals and powerful guitars. Dancing At My Window tells a moving tale of loneliness, a record so tender in its production that it captures you completely. They have a great knack for this and it is also shown on other tracks on the album.
The Wooden Sky then change tempo with It Gets Old To Be Alone and in doing so have created a country rock anthem for the modern age. The Crazy Horse inspired guitars mixed with a gothic melody let Gardiner’s vocals shine through.
The track Take Me Out is probably my favourite song of the year, a bold statement I know, but a true one. Beautiful lyrics mixed with a classic vintage slow dancing sound that leaves you feeling spellbound. Having never been to a high school prom, if I had done I would have wanted to have danced with my guy to this. Also my guy would have looked like Neil Young circa 1972 because then of course the picture would have been complete. To further show my love for this song I decided to add it to one of the playlists for my sisters wedding last month, which then led to a High Fidelity Beta Band type exchange between the two of us. She liked it so all was good and there were a few people slow dancing which made me smile. My Neil Young lookalike sadly did not show up, one day maybe you never know!
On the stripped back Your Fight Will Not Be Long Gardiner sings “Yes time had left some marks on you, tonight all that was done” showing some truly beautiful songwriting. The same goes for Hang On To Me, which is both powerful and delicate at the same time. I’m Your Man reels you in with its refreshing alt-country sound that shows a different side to the band.
Gavin Gardiner has a real strength in his voice, one that lets you sit back and take it all in. He has the same clear-cut honesty of Ryan Adams, the kind that doesn’t over power the music it just helps to draw you into the stories and the world that this band creates.
The Wooden Sky has produced one of the best Americana albums released this year. It is full of beautiful melodies and great troubadour storytelling. The band must have a very strong connection to produce the amazing harmonies that are on this record which is just one of the factors that makes it so good. Together they create a country rock sound that hasn’t been heard since the days of Whiskeytown.