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Lost Channels

Great Lake Swimmers

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Album Review

Toronto's Great Lake Swimmers have been quietly honing their signature wet and lonesome, echo-laden brand of mellow folk-pop since 2005, while like-minded bands such as Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses and Shearwater get all of the press. On their fourth album, Tony Dekker and his revolving cast of co-conspirators walk a little taller than on previous releases, employing a larger, more band-oriented sound that lovingly elevates (and amplifies) Dekker's simple, refined melodies into something both peaceful and majestic. Recorded in castles, churches, and community centers in and around the Saint Lawrence River's Thousand Islands, which straddle the U.S.-Canada border, Lost Channels is filled with sepia-tone postcard images of dusty boots following the treads on seasonal roads, and pastoral woodcuts of stoic, blue-collar heartache and wide-eyed innocence. From the old-school country-folk of "The Chorus in the Underground" and "Unison Falling into Harmony" to the straight-up indie folk-rock of "Pulling on a Line" and "Palmistry" — the latter, as beautiful as it is owes more than just an instrumentation nod to R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" — Great Lake Swimmers have proven once again that Canada, as rich as it is in arty indie rock like Destroyer, Plants and Animals, and Wolf Parade, is also the country that gave the world Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, and Joni Mitchell.

Biography

Formed: 2003 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Featuring a blend of acoustic instruments, rural soundscapes, and wistful vocals, Great Lake Swimmers are an indie folk group led by songwriter/vocalist Tony Dekker. The group first appeared in 2003 with a haunting, self-titled debut that was recorded in a grain silo and released by Weewerk Records, a small label based in the band's native Toronto. Misra Records picked up the record and released it stateside in April 2005. Recording sessions for Great Lake Swimmers' second album began that same year,...
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Lost Channels, Great Lake Swimmers
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