Presenting a raw and gritty sound that fuses the band’s alternative style with vivid, trippy rock tones, layered with the dusty vocals of frontman Gavin Gardiner, Swimming in Strange Waters is The Wooden Sky's soundtrack to perseverance, as well as learning to survive in our increasingly daunting world.
The collection of trauma-infused lyrics showcased throughout the 9 tracks sends the listener on an emotional and haunting voyage, with tracks such as “Born to Die” sending a poignant message of mortality, its lyrics heavily reminiscent of John Lennon’s renowned pro-peace number "Imagine": "Baby we were born to die, shouting sea below us, above us only sky."
Taking a step away from the electronically layered experiments of their last studio album, 2014's Let’s Be Ready, The Wooden Sky take this opportunity to not only revert back to their rock and roll roots, but to continue building upon them. Across an eclectic tracklist that provides us with a variety of sounds and genres, the band move from the country-infused rock of “Deadhorse Creek” and “Matter of Time” to the stunning Fleetwood Mac undertones of “You’re Not Alone”, with many diverse and unexpected elements in between.
One of Swimming in Strange Waters' most notable songs, “Riding on the Wind”, is taken from vocalist Gavin Gardiner’s own experience working with Syrian refugee families, and brings the album to a gentle peak. The song beautifully blends themes both political and personal with a smooth, soulful sound that generates feelings of nostalgia, homesickness, and loss. Throughout this track, in particular, it feels like the band is seeking to evoke emotions comparable to those experienced by the people the song is written for - a feeling that reminds us we cannot ignore the current, challenging state of the world after all.
Release: 7th April 2017, Nevado Music