Swimming in Strange Waters is, by far, the Wooden Sky’s most ambitious album to date.
The Wooden Sky are a band that is all about experimentation and expanding their sonic horizons. From the undulating, reserved folk-rock of When Lost at Sea to the retro soul of Every Child a Daughter and the raw roots performances that act as the focal point of Let’s Be Ready, they’ve never been a group to simply sit in one place and settle for long. In a way, they’ve always been swimming ever closer towards stranger waters since their debut release a decade back. Their aptly-titled latest release, however, is their greatest culmination of years of asserting their prowess as musicians alongside their natural lust for artistic adventure.
Thematically, the band has arguably aimed for greater heights on Swimming in Strange Waters. The album is teeming with political and personal undertones that never feel too tacked or missing the point as such candid tracks often can. The rollicking '70s-tinged rock 'n' roll of the album’s title track, for instance, hides a dark tale of a family torn apart beneath its deceptively anthemic composure. Elsewhere, the band tucks away another delectable acoustic number like they quite haven’t since their debut on “Born to Die”. Its tender harmonies and stripped production might hint at more complexities shaded underneath its initial makeup, and really listening to the sweet-sounding folk song will reveal a conscious reflection on every living being’s ultimate fate.