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The Wooden Sky: On Tour This Week With Dan Michaelson & The Coastguards

March 8, 2011 by  

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The Wooden Sky: On Tour This Week With Dan Michaelson & The Coastguards

Trying to nail down the disparate genres explored by the Wooden Sky isn’t an easy task. When pressed, the band tosses out tags like “folk rock”, but the words don’t hint at the nuances in their sound. Since 2003, the Toronto collective has been pushing the limits of folk and country, adding pieces of outside influence and slowly growing their own unique sonic aesthetic. It’s all led them to If I don’t come home you’ll know I’m gone, a massive undertaking that sweeps through rock and roll subgenres with the deftness of the Allman Brothers, the songwriting focus of Wilco, and the experimental sonic cacophony of the Flaming Lips. It’s a career-defining record, grown and built organically over months spent living, writing, and recording in cramped apartments between Toronto and Montreal.

After the band’s previous full-length, When Lost at Sea, garnered them national critical praise, college radio play (they charted at #33 on earshot), tours with Canadian indie rock royalty like Julie Doiron, a live performance on MTV, a spot at Osheaga Festival, and an In Session performance on CBC Radio 3, the Wooden Sky set about the daunting task of crafting a worthy follow-up. The result is the kind of democratic rock and roll record that requires the total shedding of ego and the equal involvement of all parties; If I don’t come home you’ll know I’m gone is epic in its scope and contributions, but never bombastic or crowded. It’s a lot of people playing when they need to, not just when they want to.

The record came together somewhere between Montreal and Toronto; starting out at Montreal’s legendary Hotel2Tango studio with Howard Billerman (Arcade Fire, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the Dears), the band spent two weeks recording all day and sharing a cramped one-bedroom apartment with five friends at night. Three days followed at Toronto’s Lincoln Country Social Club with Chris Stringer (Ohbijou, Timber Timbre, Rush), then a day with the pipe organ and piano at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Cobourg, and, finally, put the finishing touches on at Gardiner and Wyatt’s apartment in Toronto. The list of people involved the creation of the record is expansive, including some of the band’s oldest friends and newest acquaintances: Heather Kirby (Ohbijou), Debra Jean Creelman (ex-Mother Mother), Mika Posen (Forest City Lovers), Jessica Moss (Silver Mount Zion), Howard Billerman (ex-Arcade Fire), Stew Crookes ($100), Edwin Huizinga (Mars Volta), Adam Kinner (Marathon), Elspeth Poole, and Tyler Belluz.

Catch the band live at the following dates:
Mar 8 The Basement York
Mar 9 The Castle Manchester
Mar 10 Milo Leeds
Mar 11 The Lexington London



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