On their new LP, The Wooden Sky concentrate on their craft while also expanding its range
With their third album, Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun, Toronto-based band The Wooden Sky don’t so much expand their horizons as hone their craft. Songs recorded on the banks of Georgian Bay, in an Anglican church, at random apartments and even in a Gatineau farmhouse bleed their haunted signature vibes from every crevice, suffusing lyrics and sonic space alike with ghosts of the outdoors and other found spaces.
"After we played the Ottawa Folk Fest, we took off to an old 300-acre farm in the Gatineaus to do some recording," reveals lead singer Gavin Gardiner. "It’s truly awesome out there. We come through Ottawa a lot. I remember the first or second time in Ottawa we played at this house show – I guess it was about three years ago – and while we were playing the roof collapsed! A massive piece of plaster fell out of the ceiling onto the cymbals and narrowly missed Chris’ head."
The Wooden Sky are no strangers to unusual show settings and their apparent pitfalls after their 2009 Bedrooms and Backstreets tour took them to nooks and crannies across the continent. As a result, the band has gained a sizable following of fans attracted to the intimacy of such performances, an intimacy with which Wooden Sky’s spacious country-roots-folk-rock dovetails perfectly.
"We always like to take things out of regular venues and bars, it adds variety," says Gardiner. "The space also allows us the opportunity to interpret the song differently and challenge ourselves to do something totally different. I think recording in so many venues adds a transient quality, a constant motion that is nice. Each space has a different energy, and I think that adds to the songs too. When we started playing folk festivals last summer, an atmosphere that I just love for the atmosphere, we just kept rolling with recording the album.
"Also, I think there is this idea of Americana or alt-country that we’re all a little uncomfortable with, at least the connotations that it seems to carry with it – this lonely guy with an acoustic guitar kind of thing," adds Gardiner. "We sort of live within those boundaries too though, and I’m a huge Townes Van Zandt fan. I think we try and take those influences and see how we can reinterpret them. At the same time, I guess I didn’t want to make a record for any situation, but rather for the situations where I most enjoy listening, which is to say maybe hanging out at home, listening to the vinyl and making dinner."
The Wooden Sky
w/ Great Bloomers
At La Sala Rossa