Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels
The Great Lake Swimmers seem to possess and almost singular ability to exude Canadianism. The atmosphere their music creates coupled with Tony Dekker’s pitch-perfect voice could practically be used to define Canada. And of course, the way in which Dekker goes about writing and recording his music speaks volumes to why this is the case. For Lost Channels, The Swimmers packed up and made the voyage to the Thousand Islands region of Ontario, where they proceeded to record the entirety of the album inside the likes of the area’s churches and castles.
The first half of Lost Channels is generally far more up tempo and distinctly different from what you would have expected based on their last release Ongiara. This is however merely a musical distinction, as lyrically Dekker’s trademark use of imagery is as clear as ever. The beautiful ‘Everything is Moving So Fast’ and first single ‘Pulling on a Line’ lead the pack over the course of the records first six tracks. Separated by a brief interlude, the chiming of the ‘Singer Castle Bells,’ one of the many recording locations for the record, the second half of the record is a return to the more quiet, subdued and atmospheric Great Lake Swimmers. Led off wonderfully by ‘Stealing Tomorrow’ and further highlighted by ‘New Light,’ the final five tracks make an equal showing to the first six, making any kind of decision as to which is better a difficult one.
As was the case on their previous release, the Great Lake Swimmers don’t go at it completely alone. Making repeat appearances on Lost Channels are the likes of Serena Ryder, who backs the band up vocally on ‘Everything is Moving So Fast,’ and Bob Egan who adds a deft touch of pedal steel to the record, most notably on ‘She Comes to Me in Dreams.’ Both artists appeared on Ongiara, and as was the case on that record, the guest appearances add a wonderful dynamic to Lost Channels but in the end, it is plain and simply the stunning and haunting voice of Tony Dekker that makes Great Lake Swimmers’ work so positively engaging.
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