NEWS: Skydiggers Bring "Northern Shore" To Halifax

Toronto’s Skydiggers recently just hit the road in support of their new album “Northern Shore”. To celebrate the band offered up the song “Waves” from their eighth studio album for download on their website and  streamed the entire album on exclaim. Northern Shore was released on Latent Records on April 17th and the band comes to Halifax for two very special shows on June 19 and 20. Full tour dates are listed below.
June 19/20 – Halifax, NS @ The Carleton 

 Northern Shore is the band’s first new music since the 2009 release of their career-spanning anthology, The Truth About Us. The 15 song collection stands as the most adventurous and varied of the group’s 20 year plus career, and captures the essence of the group’s sound.  Northern Shore sees the group mapping new musical territory, but it feels like home.

The record ranges from the acoustic simplicity of “Liar, Liar” (a Josh Finlayson/ Andy Maize composition which predates Skydiggers), to a rollicking honky-tonk cover of songwriting legend Mickey Newbury’s “Why You Been Gone So Long” to the chopped up beats and dense cacophony of the edgy “Fire Engine (Red Explosion)” to pianist Michael Johnston’s tremolo-treated piano on the stark title cut.  Singer Jessy Bell Smith provides gracious harmonies to the sea shanty-like “Waves” and soaring soulful lead on “Deep Water (31 Mile Lake)” while “The Herd” is spiked with sampled xylophone, a propulsive mechanized beat and one of Maize’s most effective, yearning vocal performances. Songwriter (and current Member of Parliament) Andrew Cash’s songbook was raided for "Wake Up Little Darling'" and “You’ve Been Gone So Long,” here given superbly sympathetic representation thanks in part to the instinctive and imaginative rhythmic feel provided by drummer Noel Webb. Cash’s brother and founding Skydigger Peter Cash, makes a cameo on the heartfelt “Barely Made It Through.”

The Truth About Us got us out playing again and thinking about what we had done over the course of the lifetime of the band,” says Maize. “The desire was there to definitely make another recording, but there wasn’t really a plan. We revisited older material that we had never gotten around to releasing, re-recorded older material that we’ve been playing in a new way with the current line-up of the band, and then came up with all this new material.”
Two key early decisions shaped Northern Shore. “First, we engaged a producer and engineer -- Saam Hashemi -- as a full creative collaborator in a way we’ve never done before,” says Finlayson. “And secondly, we decided we would approach the recordings in three pretty radically different ways.”
Some of the songs were worked up starting with simple guitar/voice/drum machine tracks recorded in the basement of Finlayson’s West Toronto home, and then meticulously built, instrument by instrument, sample by sample, track by track. A second set of sessions were conducted live off-the-floor at Blue Rodeo’s Toronto studio, The Woodshed. And a final set of recordings were convened near Kingston, Ontario at The Tragically Hip’s The Bathouse Studio, with the group recording in a more traditional way, from arrangements that were established before entering the studio.
“Often recording is a reaction to the last recording: We did that, now we want to do this,” says Maize. “But we had no preconceived ideas this time, and for me that led to a rediscovery of the joy of record making with Northern Shore.”
Adds Finlayson: “The other surprise for us is, given how different our approach was, Northern Shore really sounds like the next natural chapter for Skydiggers.”

Skydigger’s Tour Dates

April 26 – Burnstown, ON @ Neat School House Stage
April 28 – Peterborough, ON @ Spring Spectacular – Market Hall Performing Arts Centre
May 2/3 – Vancouver, BC @ The Railway Club
May 4 – Duncan, BC @ Duncan Garage Showroom
May 5 – Victoria, BC @ Lucky Bar (early show)
May 7 – Nelson, BC @ The Royal
May 9/10 – Edmonton, AB @ Haven Social Club
May 11/12 – Calgary, AB @ Ironwood Stage
May 24 – Saskatoon, SK @ Lydia’s Pub
May 25 – Regina, SK @ The Exchange
May 26 – Winnipeg, MB @ The West End Cultural Centre
June 5 – Hamilton, ON @ Molson Canadian Studio – Hamilton Place
June 6 – Guelph, ON @ Dublin Street United Church
June 8/9 – Toronto, ON @ Hugh’s Room  
June 19/20 – Halifax, NS @ The Carleton
June 22 – Charlottetown, PE @ Hunter’s Ale House
June 29/30 – Wakefield, QC @ The Black Sheep Inn

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