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"Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun"

The Wooden Sky – Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun
27 September 2012, 08:59 Written by Chris Jones

On album number three, rustic rock quintet The Wooden Sky provide the audio equivalent of a long hot soak. Relaxing, rejuvenating and much valued at the right time – but perhaps not so different from the last sweet-smelling bath. The sound will be familiar to fans of the Toronto-based band, who have been evolving from indie rock to something rootsier since forming as Friday Morning’s Regret almost a decade ago. Third time around, The Wooden Sky set their stall at the altar of

Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun bears a title both punning and slightly pompous, yet strangely befitting of its gentle songs that stir almost by stealth. Although the band have shed the roughshod sense of restlessness that infiltrated 2007 debut When Lost At Sea, there is gravitas – a certain sobriety – to the succor offered here, magnifying the intimate to a vast holistic hush. These are Everyman’s odysseys; an entrenched sense of mini-epic whether the songs sway out or pitch inwards.

The purposeful march of opener ‘Child of the Valley’ is sweeping but safe, like an evening replay of events enjoyed snugly in dusk’s reflective seclusion, “emotions recollected in tranquility“. Treading softly but travelling far, dust-blown but not so very desolate, the cosy and grandiose walk hand in hand. Second track ‘Angelina’ leans to the latter, fervent guitar almost patriotic in its avidity – but its lingering cradled reprise is like a lullaby.

This album finds singer Gavin Gardiner another notch more careworn, his voice settling like snow over soft-focus instrumental wilderness. Former Best Fit Song of the Day ‘Take Me Out‘ is a lilt between lulls, a letting-go and purging of tension. Almost apologetically catchy, its simple vintage waltz adds a lightness to the mix.

These soothing interludes give shelter in a sometimes lonely landscape and sympathetic harmonies soften Gardner’s textured tones. ‘Hang on to Me’, the sincere last love song, clocking in under two and a half minutes, is unassuming and vulnerable, shaded and devoted. Arriving unexpectedly and departing abruptly, it is lost like a whisper but leaves an indelible spirit. Much of The Wooden Sky’s repertoire is soothing but resolute, romantic and subdued. Offer an opening and these unassuming songs, the subtle interplay between passion and devotion, make their mark.

Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun needs to catch you at the right time. It will seem tiresomely weary to the hotfooting hurried – but souse in these suds, and just shy of an hour, you’ll step from the spell, happier, wrinklier and ready for bed.

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