The third album from Indie spirited Canadian country-folk quintet The Wooden Sky, 'Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun' sees them develop their more textured and layered sound. The evolutionary transformations since the band's last album, 'If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone', are more subtle than revolutionary. Gavin Gardiner's warm, deep and comforting vocal still sits astride each song with a surety and authority as the score builds and breaks below.
The mainstays of their sound, folk and country are still the fundamental foundations on which the album are built, but there are notable exceptions. 'Angelina' may not be traditional Nashville fair but its zip code is definitely within walking distance. Each note, from the twang of the guitar to the more drawn out 'lazy' vocal style, pays homage to one of the pillars of American popular music. 'Your Fight Will Not Be Long', a more paired back, emotional tale, pulls on a more folk oriented thread, tugging at you with its intimacy and honesty. "When the Doctor came to see us, said your fight will not be long, and though it pains me so to say it, seldom that I'm wrong."
The opener 'Child Of The Valley' is more of a potent piece, mixing up its gentle piano, acoustic guitars and soaring harmonies with passages seemingly derived from Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. 'Take Me Out', however, is somewhere completely different on the musical spectrum. Here we get a Greece like sing-a-long ballad that begs to be swayed to as the Thunderbird drives off into the wild blue yonder with loves young dream at the wheel. The more, slightly annoying, nasal delivery on 'The Night Goes On And On' and the late night 'Latin' lament of 'Malibu Rum' are other off-piste oddities.
Where 'Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun' works best is where The Wooden Sky, seemingly, don't try too hard. 'Dancing At My Window' is effecting because of the tenderness in the performance and the quality of the lyrics. Similarly, 'It Gets Old To Be Alone' stirs the emotions with its passionate vocal and punchy delivery. The measured outbursts on 'Bald, Naked And Red' hark back to the band's previous incarnation as the indie rock outfit Friday Morning's Regret and 'City Of Light' works on any level simply because it's a great song. The slow burn, the considered but characterful vocals, the compelling story and the continual build in the atmospheric instrumentation all combine to produce one of the album's best songs.
The Wooden Sky have, at the very least, raised their bar with 'Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon a Sun' and are sure to enhance their growing audience still further with this largely enjoyable 13 track set. The generally mild mannered nature of the compositions and the polished performances ensures that each note and lyric is given extra gravitas and, although there may be a few curve balls, it still remains a cohesive body of work well worth a listen.
Official Site -