The Wooden Sky could be accused of entering and playing off the successes of an already established genre, for sure. That said, The Wooden Sky carves space for themselves in indie alt-country/folk-rock Canada that is its own, deserved and worthwhile.
On par with acts like Hey Rosetta! And US cousins, Okkervil River, The Wooden Sky (formerly Friday Morning’s Regret) are catchy, rootsy and seem genuinely humble. With the sensibility of classic country and potential of pop, If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone spans the poetics of pretty girls, pending death, Jesus and the quality of men. It has the movement of rock and an unpredictable, listenable pace throughout.
With collaborations with musicians from their recent Bedrooms and Backstreets tour complete, a tour of unusual towns and likewise performance spaces— rooftops, backyards and public parks alongside more conventional spaces and cities— I look forward to seeing what The Wooden Sky will do next.
If there’s a criticism to be had of If I Don’t Come Home, it is the few repetitive, less stand-out songs in what is otherwise a treasure chest. A bit of tightening up could have pushed this album through to a long list of best-ofs this year.
The Wooden Sky overlaps artists with some of Toronto’s loveliest (Anissa Hart and Heather Kirby of Obijou, pedal steel player Stew Crookes, who plays with $100). A prayer for the perseverance of decent people making quality music in a city that fights against just that.
By Tara-Michelle Ziniuk
Nov 2, 2009