Wooden Sky release stunning new record

Since 2003, folk-rock collective The Wooden Sky’s name has been growing in stature. With a compelling new record released this past Tuesday, the band is getting set to undertake an ambitious cross-Canada tour while also dipping into the United States for a series of shows.

The Wooden Sky will be performing at the Tide & Boar Gastropub Friday evening.

The group toured rather extensively throughout Canada, the United States and Europe behind their last full-length effort, If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone. As such, the group’s experiences in the two years leading up to the making of their new record, Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun, inevitably found their way into the music.

“I would have to say the touring we did in the time leading up to the new record definitely influenced the lyrical content of this album,” singer Gavin Gardiner begins. “We came off the road from promoting our last record and everyone in the band more-less went into hibernation right away. I don’t think that was such a bad thing however because if we had come off the road and gone right into the studio, I think that the record would have definitely been more influenced by having been on tour and living that lifestyle.

“The new record was kind of like a response to touring in a sense because our live show can be pretty rowdy and our shows pretty upbeat. I figured we had done enough of that and ultimately, I wanted to write something that didn’t necessarily reflect that.”

The Wooden Sky originally had nine songs heading into the making of Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun. Before the band started recording however, Gardiner found himself on a writing streak, penning an additional nine songs before they ultimately trimmed the track listing back to 13 songs.

Asked if there was any consideration given to delaying recording so that he could see what other songs might lie in wait, Gardiner insists that he feels records are a snapshot of an artist at a specific point in time. He says that he has always been happy to take that picture and then confidently move on.

“If a song is not done by the time we are ready to record, it is not as though that is the only record that the song can appear on.”

Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun marks The Wooden Sky’s second time working with renowned producer Howard Bilerman. Gardiner speaks highly of the experiences that the band has had working with Bilerman, who has also worked with Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade, among others.

“We love working with Howard,” Gardiner says. “He is subtle in the way that he works and is almost like a musical mid-wife, there to help deliver your baby. He has this knack for knowing when to step in to offer advice and really understood when it was that we needed help. I don’t think we could have worked with him if he was very strongly opinionated or anything like that.”

Though most of the band’s new album was recorded at Montreal’s Hotel 2 Tango Studio with Bilerman, subsequent recording sessions were completed in a variety of places including apartments and churches as well as a farm in rural Quebec. Asked if the lack of one continuous recording session somehow detracted from the final result, Gardiner says the experience was truly a positive one.

“I actually rather like working like that,” he shares. “Truth be told, I tend to work slowly sometimes so it’s nice not to have the pressure of being ‘on the clock’ in the studio. If you’re working on your own, you can chase ideas down that you might not want to take the time to fully explore if you were in a studio.”

Article published in the March 2, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript