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The Wooden Sky.
An indie folk band whose music is dynamic, literate, and informed by equal shares of joy and sorrow, the Wooden Sky were formed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada by Gavin Gardiner, a vocalist and guitarist who was attending Ryerson University. In 2003, Gardiner had written a batch of songs for a class project and needed a band to play them. Gardiner joined forces with bassist Andrew Wyatt and drummer Chris Cocca, and the combo began playing in and around Toronto using the name Friday Morning's Regret. By 2007, they had changed their name to the Wooden Sky and released their debut album, When Lost at Sea. By 2009, when the Wooden Sky dropped their second album, If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone, the group had gone through some lineup shakeups; Chris Cocca had left, and the Wooden Sky had three new members, Peter Krpan (bass, drums, and percussion), Mika Posen (violin), and Simon Walker (keyboards, mandolin, and guitar). The ambitious sophomore album received enthusiastic notices from critics, and was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, awarded each year to a Canadian album of exceptional merit without consideration to genre or commercial success. A five-song EP, City of Light, was put out in 2011 to coincide with a concert tour, and in 2012 the Wooden Sky released Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun; it became the group's first significant chart success, rising to number 66 on the Canadian albums chart, and was nominated for a Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent to the Grammys) for Best Roots & Traditional Album of the Year, though Elliott Brood walked home with the prize. In 2015, after releasing their first three albums through the independent Black Box Recordings label, the Wooden Sky signed with new Canadian imprint Chelsea Records; the group's first album for the label, 2015's Let's Be Ready, also presented another new lineup, with the core trio of Gardiner, Walker, and drummer Andrew Kekewich joined by longtime associates Edwin Huizinga on violin and Andrew Wyatt on bass. ~ Mark Deming