September 27, 2007

Record Review: Great Lake Swimmers

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Rustic, hypnotic and above all melodic, the Great Lake Swimmers expand upon their soothing folk style of music on their most recent effort Ongiara. The small trio from Ontario constructs an expansive sonic footprint on the record, utilizing the brilliant-sounding acoustics of their historic and native Aeolian Music Hall to capture a warm, rich, live sound to their humble folk songs. Singer Tony Dekker’s plain tenor vocals and simplistic song writing complement the straightforward guitar chords and banjo strumming, with everything melding together seamlessly.
The Great Lake Swimmers know that their main strength lies in their minimalist harmonies and song structures, and they stick with that formula throughout the entire record, even though at times it seems to lack some panache. They still design a gorgeous group of songs, as the ensnaring melodies, extended metaphors and lively arrangements on “Your Rocky Spine” and “Changing Colours” prove.