Review of Ongiara Album by Great Lake Swimmers

Great Lake Swimmers
Album Review

Great Lake Swimmers Ongiara Album

Great Lake Swimmers is a Canadian indie band built around Tony Dekker's songs and voice. Like country mates the Cowboy Junkies, the songs are quiet, gently spun tales, with a country blues folk core.

Ongiara is the band's third album, and the best to date - the loveliness of the quiet acoustic melodies has grown with each release. The songs could grace a Neil Young or Sufjan Stevens disc - plucked guitar and banjo with a quiet, reedy voice. The disc has a marvellously cinematic feel, each song building delicious intensity.

It also sounds great - the album was recorded in a real room - London, Ontario's Aeolian Hall - and the natural feel is almost another instrument (as on The Cowboy Junkies' Trinity Sessions) contributing to the hypnotic feel of the ballads. Ongiara (named after the boat that carried them across Toronto harbour for their initial demo) is a lovely gem of an album.


Mike Rea

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