The Wooden Sky are back with their third LP, Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun, due for release in the UK on October 1st via Loose Music. A follow up to the brilliant If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone, the new record expands on previous releases, building on the strong points while incorporating further variation to keeps things fresh.
The album is both very different and reassuringly similar from If I Don’t Come Home…, with the band experimenting with their sound while keeping the familiar vocals and lyrics, the strong core of The Wooden Sky’s success. For me, this is where The Wooden Sky excel, offering the listener the choice of two listening experiences; an entertaining mix of slow and quicker rock songs or a much deeper exploration of often deeply emotional themes. While it could be argued that this is the case with most music, there is something about frontman Gavin Gardiner’s style of delivery that offers a choice, the kind of voice that you could sing along with without really knowing what he has said and enjoying yourself immensely. The variation in pace keep things interesting and the album passes as a pleasant indie-rock listen.
However as I have already said, it is in the lyrics that the true strength of Every Child… lies, and hence the album is a real grower. With each listen a song gives up another detail that was previously missed, another insight into the underlying story. The way in which these ideas unfold suggest a much wider narrative, allowing the listener to flesh out the situation themselves and thus make each story personal and appealing. For example, the opening track ‘Child of the Valley’ is an affecting tale of loneliness and redemption but remains rather vague for the most part, allowing our imaginations to apply the words in any way we see fit. This effect continues to build across the 13 tracks and by the end we each have a slightly different but no less complete picture that addresses some of the most important aspects of the human condition. This isn’t the head-on, painfully personal outpouring familiar to some songwriters, but something a lot more subtle and layered. The messages are hidden, woven into stories and metaphors. They are there if you want to interpret them. If not, there is a confident rock band to love too.