Canadian Music Corner: David R. Elliott & Wooden Sky

David R. Elliott
Travis Persaud, Contributor Ω

Folk-punk is an intricate genre.  While it relies on some of the musical rigour of well-versed folk and country roots, it would be a shame to call folk-punk a tame, reverent offspring of full-blown punk.  If you’re a fan of folk-punk bands like The Weakerthans look into David R. Elliott of New Brunswick.

On Elliott’s March 2013 release, Rearrange,  he melodically picks his way through the simplicity of a worn working man’s resignation and the youthful resilience of his distorted guitar riffs.  Themes of romance run deep throughout the album matching the highs and lows of Elliott’s sounds.

Using his lyrics as a guide, it would seem that Elliott is a passionate storyteller at heart.  Rearrange puts Elliott at the centre of the songs allowing for insight into the passion that Elliott sings with.

Though you won’t find Elliott’s work on iTunes, his Bandcamp boasts an impressive array of releases dating back to 2007.  Many of the tracks off of Rearrange can be sourced back through his Bandcamp page to demos of earlier versions showing the progression of many songs that made it onto Rearrange.  The early demos provide a glimpse into the creative process often lost on the listener.

Elliott has mastered the small-town feel, churning a nostalgia often overlooked by artists rushing to make it in the bigger centres. If you’re up for a casual night in, warm the evening with some of Elliott’s East Coast flavour.

Wooden Sky
Brendan Kergin, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

When discussing Canadian indie, Toronto is always brought up as the central city. It’s where musicians meet, mix and inspire each other. One of the bands central to that culture is the Wooden Sky.

The quintet create a soft, twangy, folksy style of indie. It could be classified as alt-country even, but strays a little more than other bands, such as Elliott Brood and Rural Alberta Advantage (with whom they have toured), with a more complex musicality and a tad less rawness. Not that they’re over produced, it’s just a sweeter sound.

They formed in 2003, though the name is a more recent addition, from 2007. Since then they’ve released three full albums and some additional material. All of it has been well received critically and popular amongst those willing to delve into Canada’s music scene, though they still tend to be considered a smaller indie band. Perhaps the lack of happy pop restricts their popularity, but anyone looking for a warm song should check out their material, like “North Dakota” off of 2007’s When Lost at Sea.