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Bodies and Minds

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Album Review

Released just five months after their acclaimed self-titled debut, the Canadian indie folk collective's sophomore release treads the same cold waters as before, but with a batch of songs that are as confident as they are heartbroken. Listeners who felt drawn to singer/songwriter Tony Dekker and fellow Swimmers tales of northern woe the first time around will likely find the more band-oriented Bodies and Minds to be an improvement. Like the Cowboy Junkies before them, the tracks were recorded in a church (the previous release found the group crammed into a silo), resulting in an intimacy that feels both peaceful and urgent. Dekker's vocals are less shaky this time around, and his glorious falsetto, which salutes Thom Yorke and Neil Young without ever coming off as derivative, bounces off of the cathedral walls with such quiet grandiosity that one barely notices the subtle banjo, electric guitar, and brushed snare drum that propel it. Granted, the Swimmers songs and overall style are by no means ground-breaking ("Let's Trade Skins" and "Various Stages" echo the Scud Mountain Boys with their deep Wurlitzer underbelly, while "Song for the Angels" sounds like a Red House Painters song circa 1993), but they're well on their way to cementing them with both feet into the "wet as a highway during mayfly season" sadcore genre.


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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Bodies and Minds, Great Lake Swimmers
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