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Great Lake Swimmers

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  • Great Lake Swimmers


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Featuring a blend of acoustic instruments, rural soundscapes, and wistful vocals, Great Lake Swimmers are an indie folk group led by songwriter/vocalist Tony Dekker. The group first appeared in 2003 with a haunting, self-titled debut that was recorded in a grain silo and released by Weewerk Records, a small label based in the band's native Toronto. Misra Records picked up the record and released it stateside in April 2005. Recording sessions for Great Lake Swimmers' second album began that same year, with the band taking up residence in an old church in rural southern Ontario. The finished product, Bodies and Minds, was released toward the end of 2006, featuring another blend of homespun folk and lush, intimate Americana.

Although already popular in Canada, the band began building a wider audience in 2007 by signing to a new label, Nettwerk, and releasing the well-received Ongiara. The album's first track, "Your Rocky Spine," topped the Canadian indie charts and appeared on the soundtrack to Showtime's Weeds. Such increased attention kept Great Lake Swimmers on tour for the better part of two years, but they still managed to take some time off to record a fourth album. Traveling between multiple locations in the Thousand Islands region and elsewhere in northern New York state, the group hit a creative high peak with Lost Channels, which was released in 2009. The Legion Sessions, an EP featuring live versions of several Lost Channels tunes, also appeared that year. In 2012 Great Lake Swimmers released New Wild Everywhere, their first album to be recorded in a traditional studio.

eMusic Features


New This Week: Bear in Heaven, Dr. John, Phronesis & More

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

Well, here we are. Another Tuesday, another batch of records. Let's not waste any more time, shall we? Lotus Plaza, Spooky Action at a Distance: More eerie, filmy, jangly pop music from Deerhunter's Lockett Pundt. I never fully connected with his main gig, but this sounds great - spooky and lo-fi, the kind of thing that might have come out on Captured Tracks if it wasn't for the high-wattage indie personality behind it. RECOMMENDED Dr. John, Locked… more »


  • 04.25.17 Highly recommended: Bassist & fellow Swimmer @BretHiggins is on tour with his Atlas Revolt project in Canada & US:… https://t.co/JK6z8GGkIr
  • 04.24.17 Final leg of the 'Floating Through The Forest' tour is officially over - a great time was had by… https://t.co/ZJ3W2Lgcsc
  • 04.23.17 RT @brassrailfw: Tonight: Great Lake Swimmers, O'Sister, Brother early show 8pm/$14 @GreatLakeSwim https://t.co/sx1FLN3f5l
  • 04.22.17 RT @hideoutchicago: The @GreatLakeSwim have trekked down to Chicago to play a SOLD OUT show tonight at 9--see you here if you were lucky en…
  • 04.22.17 Milwaukee & Chicago both officially sold out! Thx @GrLakeMichigan, see u @hideoutchicago tonight w. @brookeannibale! https://t.co/i0zGo7OEDc
  • 04.20.17 RT @PabstTheater: THIS FRIDAY: Don't miss Toronto-based, melancholic folk-pop band @GreatLakeSwim at the Back Room at Colectivo! » https://…
  • 04.19.17 Tonight: Great Lake Swimmers @OrpheumHancock in Hancock, MI (Upper Peninsula)! Doors @ 7:30pm. @DowntownHancock https://t.co/tu94UTyYoa
  • 04.17.17 Our tour of the Great Lakes State continues tonight with a free show @foundersbrewing in Grand Rapids, MI!… https://t.co/1D4qPI6Dun
  • 04.16.17 RSVP for *free* tickets to Great Lake Swimmers in Banff, AB April 28 @ the Cave and Basin National Historic Site! https://t.co/qoYxlHTZX9
  • 04.15.17 RT @SessionsPEI: You can't miss this collaboration. @GreatLakeSwim & @TheMeganBonnell perform "Your Rocky Spine" in the shop: https://t.co/…
  • 04.15.17 An evening with Great Lake Swimmers (trio) tonight @ Freshwater Art Gallery in Boyne City MI! 2 sets, seating @ 5pm. https://t.co/wiz1zgDxCb
  • 04.14.17 Super excited to be back in Michigan, tonight in Ann Arbor @annarborark with guest @brookeannibale! Doors @ 7:30pm. https://t.co/1sQbaf0YlW