The Wooden Sky (from the album Swimming in Strange Waters)
Over the course of five albums, The Wooden Sky has sculpted a sound. The Toronto, Canada-based band uses notes like brush strokes, allowing the songs to hold touches of Folk, Country, Indie Rock, and Soul without being defined by any particular genre or style. Swimming in Strange Waters takes its first steps with determination, the title track opening the album with solid beats and fractured slashes of distorted chords that stay in place as the message/request of ‘let every living thing shine its light on me’ becomes engulfed with a psychedelic kaleidoscope of musical sounds. The Wooden Sky lay on the banks of “Deadhorse Creek” watching the tempo of track flow by on a thick current as they float on dappled notes to let “Riding on the Wind” drift along on a fresh spring breeze and walk into “You’re Not Alone” on sure steps that support the song’s title promise with confidence.
After forming at downtown Toronto’s Ryerson University, core members Gavin Gardiner (vocals, guitar, harmonica) and Andrew Wyatt (bass) have curated the ethereal sound of The Wooden Sky consistently since their 2007 debut release. Over the course of time, the group has expanded, adding strings to the guitar, drum, bass foundation of their sound. Swimming in Strange Waters goes back to the band’s Folk beginnings as it lightly picks acoustic notes to back “Born to Die” while pushing the borders of Indie Roots as its stomps out billowing clouds of chords to dig into “Black Gold”. The Wooden Sky sway on stuttered rhythms, lazily offering a love song with “Matter of Time” and hand over advice on a determined beat with “Life is Pain, Life is Beauty” as Swimming in Strange Waters exits with celestial strings giving “Glory Hallelujah” the wings to fly.