Fronted by the talented singer-songwriter Tony Dekker, Great Lake Swimmers is a 10-year-old folk indie band from Toronto, Ontario. Throughout the past decade the band has become a favorite in their homeland of Canada, winning the title of “Favorite Folk/Roots Group” in the 2010 Canadian Indie Awards. Their unique sound and habit of recording in odd places has earned them much respect in the music world.
The band’s latest album, “New Wild Everywhere,” is their fifth CD and was released April 3. The presence of the banjo, harmonica, violin, drums, and acoustic and electric guitars all work together to create an unforgettable sound. Add Dekker’s soothing vocals and lyrical talent into the mix, and you’ve got a beautiful work of art on your hands. The music of “New Wild Everywhere” is the kind you can feel; it goes beyond your ears and probes into your heart, into something deeper.
Appropriately enough, this album really is about the “wild.” Though some people might consider the songs to have a somewhat transcendentalist bent, the nature-related lyrics are no doubt singable and refreshing. There is great symbolism and depth in the words and messages, often contemplating and questioning aspects of life and echoing sentiments about humanity. The overall result is a work that is relatable and introspective.
In a music world often characterized by meaninglessness and (let’s be frank) stupidity in both lyric and sound, Great Lake Swimmers is a refreshing respite. So do yourself and the world a favor — turn off the nauseating “Call Me Maybe” jams for a while and listen to what else Canada has to offer; listen to something with depth, something intelligent, something like “New Wild Everywhere.”