Oct. 24, 2012 - Issue #888: Winter Guide 2012
The Deep Dark Woods
The Deep Dark Woods is riding a seemingly perpetual wave of success that has accompanied its latest album The Place I Left Behind—which was released over a year ago.
The frenetic pace the band has been moving at will finally slow down after Christmas when the members take a much-needed couple of months off to regroup. Singer and guitarist Ryan Boldt says he did not expect the album to achieve the success it did, and is still a little taken aback by it all, but isn't letting it go to his head.
"It's been pretty cool, but I don't really think about it all that much. I just try and keep my head on straight and play," he says over the phone during a four-day break before the band hits the road for a tour of western Canada.
The Deep Dark Woods caught the attention of critics and fans alike with its third album, Winter Hours, which went on to win Best Roots Group at the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards. The Place I Left Behind carries on the band's signature alt-country style while dealing with temporal geographic alienation of the Saskatchewan prairies, telling captivating stories through folk and roots music in the form of murder ballads, lovesick hymnals and rock-driven stompers.
"I'm just stuck inside for a couple months of the year, so I've got nothing else to do but write songs," Boldt says of the downright chilly winters that plague his home province. "I'm also really influenced by American music and English music a lot ... people like Shirley Collins and the Stanley Brothers, of course Dylan and Neil Young, the Band and all that sort of stuff. It's just a mash-up of folk music and R&B and rock 'n' roll."
The Place I Left Behind also marked a independent step for the Deep Dark Woods: the band took complete control over the recording process, forgoing the help of producers to create the sound it was hoping to achieve. The members did, however, team up with engineer Darren van Niekerk at The Sonic Temple in Halifax, NS to tackle the technical side of recording. Boldt notes he's not opposed to returning to working with a producer in the future, it'll just be a matter of finding someone who can capture what he's looking for.
"I'm really picky with who I would want to get. I only like a certain sort of sound and anything else doesn't do it for me. It has to be a certain somebody and, someday, hopefully we'll be able to get those certain people," he adds. "You can't compromise. If you compromise, then you'll make a terrible record and the fans see that."
Sun, Oct 28 (8 pm)
Starlite Room, $22.75
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