19 May 2009

Great Lake Swimmers

In need of some music to soothe your weary soul? Look no further than Great Lake Swimmers' latest gem, their fourth, Lost Channels. Sweet, dreamy folk enhanced by lead singer Tony Dekker, who possesses a voice that summons ghosts from times past. It’s a voice that is capable of conveying heartache and comfort all in the space of a single phrase. Lost Channels has become my go-to music when I need to relax (followed closely by Steve Earls' Townes, Andrew Bird's Noble Beast, and Ben Kweller's Changing Horses).

From the Great Lake Swimmers' website: That the album was created in both rural splendour and urban Ontario makes perfect sense for a band that has always navigated the parallels between natural and urban rhythms. River imagery recurs throughout LOST CHANNELS; the title of the album is a reference to a certain passage of the St. Lawrence, close to the recording locale, where a reconnaissance boat from a British warship went mysteriously missing in 1760. There’s no specific reference to the incident in the lyrics, though there are plenty of night skies, howling winds and raging rivers in almost every song which captures an elusive sense of mystery. As the album closes, Dekker sings the final lyrics—“Like the unstoppable river… Your beauty is gentle/ but forceful, and fast”—before the band ends on a suspended note. There is no resolution there, only eternity, a continuum, an endless river.

I've only recently been introduced to Great Lake Swimmers and I will certainly be purchasing their back catalog. Tony Dekker's superior musicianship, fine song craft and haunting melodies have grabbed a hold of me, wormed their way into my heart, and have a rather nice habit of following me around.

Please enjoy "She Comes To Me In Dreams" from Lost Channels.


joel said...

Nice post. Did you see them open for Jeff Tweedy late last year? Good stuff.

BunkleLife said...

Fantastic new album from a fantastic live act - saw them at a small venue in Vancouver earlier this year and they blew my socks off.
If there are any curious fans out there, the GLS shot a disposable camera at their gig in Toronto with Art Bergmann as an opener earlier this year in support of DOXA, Vancouver's documentary film festival. It is up for auction on eBay here http://shop.ebay.ca/merchant/exposedauction