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Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Band Rock Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Vue Weekly / City of Sirens'"

Reaching the 20-year plateau as a band, Toronto's Skydiggers put forth a polished effort with the group’s seventh studio album. Under a slightly adjusted line up, the band delivers its unique brand of adult contemporary folk-rock that Canadians have become familar with over the years. Comparisons to Tom Petty are justly made by way of singer Andy Maize's nasal yet compelling vocals, though it's the band's sound—which now includes a Hammond organ—that distances it from the mainstream. The upbeat tracks are the best ones, and the album could have benefited from a greater number of them, as the slower ballads make for a slow-sounding album. Though things have changed since "What Do You See?" was a hit amidst the grunge/alternative era, City of Sirens proves that the Skydiggers wil continue to provide the Canadian soundscape with fresh, original songwriting. V - VUE Weekly 2008-12-11

"Toronto Star / City of Sirens'"

City of Sirens' most impressive quality is the noticeable shift away from guitar-based folk rock to almost symphonic art-rock arrangements, with the band's signature harmonies embedded into the textures and voicing of the keyboard parts. The songs are majestically melodic and richly structured, with lyrics that convey a kind of weary, wary optimism.

- Greg Quill - Toronto Star 2008-10-30

"Now Magazine / City of Sirens'"

NOW Magazine - 2008-10-08
After nearly two decades together, it’s hard to expect anything groundbreaking from the Skydiggers. What the band offers, though, is consistently strong adult contemporary folk music that’s remained rich and complex after all these years. Their new disc, City Of Sirens, is no exception.

Opening track Hello Beautiful Life is for the most part a soft, piano-driven number with passionate choruses that shows just how excited the band is to still be making music 17 years after releasing their first disc.

While it’s not their best work (Desmond’s Hip City still holds that title), tracks like Hasty Mart – a song about working at the Ontario-based convenience store – show the band clearly still have a long career ahead of them.

- Bryan Borzykowski - Now Magazine 2008-10-08

"Exclaim / City of Sirens'"

By Vish Khanna

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)

- Exclaim 2008-08-01


City of Sirens 2008
Skydiggers/Cash Brothers 2005
Bittersweet Harmony 2002
There and Back Again 2000
Still Restless 1999
Desmond's Hip City 1997
Road Radio 1995
Just Over This Mountain 1993
Restless 1992
Skydiggers 1990



In music, there may be no more challenging feat than to expand a sound while also drawing closer to the essence of that sound.

On their seventh studio album, City of Sirens, Skydiggers make it sound easy.

For a decidedly guitar-centric group, City of Sirens marks the first time the band has built so much of a record around keyboards. This change is thanks to the addition of Michael Johnston, whose piano and organ integrates rich new textures into Skydiggers’ style. Yet as novel as those new touches may be – a Memphis-soul feel on “All In My Time,” spiky Wurlitzer electric piano flourishes on the droll “Everybody Wants,” and the haunting spare piano arrangement on “Laura Love” -- the glorious melodies and harmonies of Skydiggers’ signature sound are tattooed onto “Hello Beautiful Life,” “One Last Chance,” and the title track.

The new album sees the core line-up of Andy Maize (vocals), Josh Finlayson (guitars, keyboards, vocals), and Ron Macey (bass) augmented by Johnston on keyboards and vocals, and drummer Noel Webb.

“I’ve gradually begun writing more songs on piano in the last couple of years. Working with Michael means we could create a bigger sound without it turning into a wall of sound,” says Finlayson. Adds Maize, “The voicings of the chords are quite different with piano. It evokes different sounds. Playing with Michael and Noel has been a real treat for me.”

The 12-song cycle pivots around our pressurized modern life, in which things are constantly moving faster and getting louder.

“At a certain point, there are a lot of stresses we all face, in our relationships with family, with loved ones. These songs tend to reflect those different struggles,” says Maize.

Songwriting for City of Sirens literally spans the band’s career: “When You Walk By” was the first song the group wrote and dates back to 1988, while “All In My Time” – a collaboration between Finlayson, Maize and original drummer Wayne Stokes – actually predates the group.

Two other tracks, “Where’s My Baby, Tonight?” and “Honest Day’s Work,” were included on 2007’s Dark Hollow, a side-project by Finlayson and Maize, made in collaboration with Cowboy Junkies’ Michael Timmins. Other songs developed out of extensive pre-production sessions in the basement studio of Finlayson’s home in Toronto’s West End.

The bulk of the album’s recording took place over 10 days at The Tragically Hip’s Bathouse Studio near Kingston, with most of the tracks being put down live.

Maize says the opening track, “Hello Beautiful Life,” captures the tone of the record as a whole. “The verses could be taken as a little bleak, but the chorus is uplifting."

"Over the course of these songs, the sun breaks through the clouds. That’s the duality of life reflected on City of Sirens.”