GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS
plus Megan Bonnel
2018 marks the 15th anniversary of Great Lake Swimmers. The JUNO nominated, Polaris Prize-shortlisted Toronto group is led by singer-songwriter Tony Dekker, who decided to challenge himself by writing new music without any acoustic guitar which has always been his instrumental mainstay. He further digressed from previous songwriting patterns by looking at each track individually and then tailoring the instrumentation to bring each song to life in its own distinctive way.
For the first new song, “The Talking Wind,” this meant going minimal, scaled back to basics. He explains, “I had become somewhat disenchanted with the acoustic guitar, and thought it was appropriate for a song about the wind to be made up entirely of woodwinds and vocals. There’s a rhythmic, hypnotic quality to them. Lyrically, I think it argues that the elements and nature can sometimes be the finest sources of comfort and solace.”
“The Talking Wind” premiered last week on Culture COLLiDE and on CBC in Canada. “Falling Apart” took a similar approach with Dekker paring it down to dreamy layers of harp, piano, and vocals and arranged a guest appearance from acclaimed harpist Mary Lattimore. The tracks were co-produced by Chris Stringer (Union Sound, The Wooden Sky, Elliot Brood, Timber Timbre), and the lush acoustics of the historical 144-year-old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario lend the songs their ambient backdrop.
Catch Great Lake Swimmers on tour in Canada this spring and stay tuned for more new things to come in 2018.