Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
What a wooden sky sounds like is exactly what it looks like. Or what is can look like with the right cockeyed angle. It's best when the air has taken on the properties of the ground floor below it, and what we have is a surface that's been displaced from the safe covering of a roof. It's a worn out wooden floor, one that's been paced over by parents waiting up late for their children to get home at night on a weekend and those trying to soothe a bawling baby in the middle of the night, when nothing is working. They're the wooden floors that feel the weight of feet and bodies, bending with them, as if taking in a mighty exhalation, regaining their form when those legs have moved on to other parts of the floor. They are the kinds of floors that have chapters of aching stories and silent testimonials just waiting to be creaked out with the next pacing or the next entrance of someone else, speaking when not spoken to. These floors always speak when they're not spoken to. And so can these skies, also constructed out of wood as the Canadian band The Wooden Sky leads us to believe. Lead singer Gavin Gardiner seems to reach up into the ominous and pregnant wooden skies and he plucks out of them wounded birds and those thoughts that are sent out into the air in helium-filled balloons, off to meet their makers. He brings them back down and he nestles them a bit, calming their shaking bones and wiggling skin, making them feel as if they had somewhere new to call home, somewhere that wasn't into the middle of an angry front. And these thoughts, previously accomplices to those ominous dark skies, find themselves enjoying their new situations, back down here on the ground where they started from. Gardiner gives them the confidence to stand up and be strong, sounding like the epiphanies of those people who have been pushed too far - either by others or they've been the major destroyers, those who have been the most harmful to themselves. Every Wooden Sky song sounds as if it came to the writer as one of the best lessons that they could have learned at the time - fully aware of all the colors, shades, people, problems, pros and cons of every surrounding and what it would take to make things right in theory. The execution is, obviously, always the toughest part to get to, but you can only get so far with a couple of first steps. Gardiner sings, "You know, there's something hiding for us in the night," on a song that is literally, almost of the same name, but it seems relevant for that "you know," and that comma that are found in it, giving us a reminder and a wakeup that there are a lot of knives out there, there are a lot of people with them and there are days just like these nights - full of scary and exhilarating blindness.