Monday, March 5, 2012

Closet Country

One thing that not many people would be able to nail down about me is my strange love for the sound of country. Not all country; I'm a picky cowgirl and have a certain style that moves me more than the mainstream pop-country that rules the airwaves these days. I agree with the catchiness of a little T-Swift as much as the next person - but the Americana, folky goodness that is tango-ing with slightly underground rock 'n roll these days is just what the doctor ordered.

Ryan Adams, The Civil Wars, Cat Power, Mumford, Bon Iver, Bruce Springsteen, Dylan, Fleet Foxes, The Head and the Heart; you name it, so many of my favourites find ways to integrate that heartwarming open-road twang into their repertoire, making me feel like the ramblin' soul we're all secretly itching to be at some point. Give me a cranked down window, howling radio and fading sun and contrary to my obsession with the bright city lights - somehow, because of this music, I'd still be right at home.

One of the most exemplary groups heating up this genre are Canadian alt-rockers The Wooden Sky, who I've marveled at before upon soaking up their breathtaking melodies, country storytelling and pure, timeless vocals. This band is well on their way to marking up the North American indie-country scene with their newest release Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun - an instant classic consisting of a mixed bag of rustic, forlorn, sentimental and reflective tavern slow dance anthems meant for highway stops and treks through the bush. The Toronto-based collective's newest whacks at modernizing this genre are bang-on in both their maturity and variety; like some strange yet beautiful melange of longing love songs fit for a classy prom held in the deep woods. I'd swoon to these tunes anyday - whether in front of the headlights of an old Chevy, under the flickering vacancy sign of the motel or under the moonlight in the Muskokas; they make you feel young again. Major highlights include: "Child in the Valley", "Bald, Naked and Red", "Angelina (Reprise)and "City of Light."

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