Skydiggers City of Sirens

Still one of Canada’s most reliably great live bands, Toronto, ON’s Skydiggers have written an excellent new record that speaks to their gift for emotionally rich and complex songs. Principal songwriters Andy Maize and Josh Finlayson may not always get the credit but they know how to get to the heart of a matter, rendering songs flush with hard love, bewildered anger and mostly hope with a rare, sincere purity. There’s no fear of ridicule or reprisal in "Hello, Beautiful Life,” which is about as earnest as a ballad can be. Ripe with teasing humour, "One Last Chance” belts forward with affection, as newbies Noel Webb and Michael Johnston prove welcome additions to the Skydiggers sound. If Tom Petty lurks within the title track, the rest of the Traveling Wilburys pop by on "Where’s My Baby Tonight?” and the irreverent "Hasty Mart.” There are politics floating there and throughout the Dylan-esque "Everybody Wants” but it’s all done undercover, as the Skydiggers add a spry chapter to their enviable legacy. (Latent)