The Great Lake Swimmers' blend of catchy, rural indie pop and brooding north country folk with Low-inspired tempos is like a shot of non-adrenaline. The Toronto outfit's third full-length album, Ongiara, breaks little ground for the Canadian pine-gazers, but somewhere between bandleader Tony Dekker's sonorous tenor and cavernous banjo there is a sweet spot that, when engaged, like on the lovely "Backstage with the Modern Dancers," "Catcher Son," and "I Became Awake," could melt the thin ice of Lake Ontario's shoreline in January. Like fellow sepia-toned Chicago collective the Pinetop Seven, GLS have a gift for melody and atmosphere that is nearly hypnotic, but where the Pinetop gang often shifts the dynamic and runs screaming into the forest, the Swimmers just kind of tread water, resulting in an audio experience that can just as easily infect the listener with drooping eyelids as it can repeated bouts of cathartic Sunday morning contemplation. Read more on Last.fm.
Lost Channels is an album by Canadian folk rock band Great Lake Swimmers, scheduled for release March 31, 2009. Guest musicians appearing on the album include Serena Ryder, Bob Egan, Erin Aurich of A Northern Chorus and Paul Aucoin of Hylozoists. The album was recorded in a variety of locations in and around the Thousand Islands, including Singer Castle near Hammond, New York, the Brockville Arts Centre in Brockville, Ontario and St. Brendans Church in Rockport, Ontario. It is named for the Lost Channel, a spot in the Thousand Islands where a reconnaissance boat from a British warship went missing in 1760. The album's first single, "Pulling on a Line", was released as a preview track on Stereogum in January 2009. Read more on Last.fm.
Canada's Great Lake Swimmers may not engender the endless praise ascribed to critical darlings like Fleet Foxes or Bon Iver, but what the Toronto quintet lacks in dazzle, it more than makes up for with authenticity. New Wild Everywhere, the group's fifth full-length outing, offers up another solid, if predictable batch of warm, contemplative, country-folk pop that seamlessly blends the rootsy, sunset melancholy of Gram Parsons, the smoky, Adirondack sheen of Joe Pernice's Scud Mountain Boys and the earthy grace of the Cowboy Junkies. Understated, yet undeniably lush (the band chose to record in a proper studio, rather than employ their usual field recording method), stand-out cuts like the languid "Cornflower Blue" and "On the Water," and the rolling, Automatic for the People-era R.E.M.-infused title track feel homey and safe, like flames licking the walls of a fireplace. New Wild Everywhere may not bring anything new to the table, but what It does bring, as is the case with the best comfort food, has been honed to perfection. Read more on Last.fm.