Review of Great Lake Swimmers album Lost Channels released through Nettwerk.
Canadian folk band Great Lake Swimmers return with Lost Channels, the follow up to their critically acclaimed album Ongaria. Known for recording in bizarre locations (a disused silo for instance) Lost Channels is no different and was created in the aptly named Singer Castle in Canada. They even dedicated a track to the experience; Singer Castle Bells sees the eerie hourly chime that filled the castle as the band recorded.
Lost Channels opens with the jangly up-tempo Palmistry, a strong introduction to the band's sound. But it's the bigger, more rock influenced sound of Pulling On A Line that is the real stand out track on the album. It has an addictive quality, a brilliant hook, yet still manages to maintain the gentle, rich sound we have come to expect from the band - surely this is Great Lake Swimmers at their best. And although She Comes To Me In Dreams again sees another up-tempo pop effort, the album does have a darker side; Stealing Tomorrow and New Light have the haunting sound and the melancholic lyrics that sit so well with Dekker's vocals.
The whole album is true to previous form, a hushed blend of acoustic guitar, light percussion and strings all creating a gentle folk-rock sound, enhanced no doubt by the acoustics of the setting. But its Tony Dekker's aching, melodic vocals that set this album apart. Silky smooth and hypnotic, they are the real focus and manage to give the record a simplistic, yet rich beauty. With the current market for folk-rock, Lost Channels could be a staple for the collection.