By: Sheena Lyonnais
October 22, 2011
City of Light, the latest offering from Toronto alt-country act The Wooden Sky, continues the story of longing and lust, painted out through five tracks detailing the rolling nostalgia of feeling lost in a lonely city. Picking up where the shining sophomore release If I Don’t Come Home You Know I’m Gone left off, this EP is designed to tide us over until the third installment drops early next year. And it’s a gorgeous album, but one that echoes a looming sadness suggested before.
These tracks possess a solemness always hinted at but perhaps never illuminated quite as brightly in the Wooden Sky‘s music until now. “Angelina” opens up with a moving lover’s moan, crying out for a lost love into the night. And while this will likely be the track that gets the most approval, I am drawn most to closing track “Lonely People (Aint Got Much These Days)” with it’s undertones of a tired depression, the kind that follows you like a shadow never far out of reach. Then there’s “Take Me Out” with its ambitious and desperate call to get out of this place, to meet anywhere. It has a hint of 60’s swagger and a dash of hope, an ode to Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and the most calling of vocalist Gavin Gardiner’s soothingly smokey words.
The Wooden Sky is one of, if not, my favourite Toronto band, but City of Light is not my favourite collection of their works. The intensity you can trace back to their debut album When Lost At Sea is gone. It’s less catchy but perhaps, with subject matter so heavily depressing, it is a victim of its own demise. There is undeniable isolation in loneliness, which leaves EPs like this destined for wine and tear-soaked nights alone in the city.
Pick up The Wooden Sky’s City of Light on iTunes here