I can’t remember a time in which I’ve went back and repeated a song while listening to my iPod on shuffle. Except for this one time while I was returning home from Chicago on the train and the song “Pulling on a Line” by Great Lake Swimmers came on. I think I listened to it about four or five times consecutively.
Last month, I saw Great Lake Swimmers perform live a local church. And for this devout atheist, they almost made that house of worship seem spiritual to me.
They are similar to Marching Band — in that they combine elements of a band such as Snow Patrol with those of folkier groups, such as Fleet Foxes and Blitzen Trapper. The difference, however, is that while Marching Band’s sound leans closer to Snow Patrol, Great Lake Swimmers tends toward their folkier brethren.
Listening to the instrumentation, I’m reminded of Elf Power, but not quite as bold or dynamic.
On an instrument-related sidenote, I would occasionally hear a banjo standout at various times throughout the album, and it kept reminding of two things — the banjo on Okkervil River’s song “Lost Coastlines” and the theme song to the show Scrubs.
Great Lake Swimmers is a band that generally keeps things simple, and that’s not a bad thing.
Since forming in 2001, the Toronto quartet has grown into a national favorite in their native Canada. With the release of Lost Channels, the band’s fourth album, it has been lauded by a lot of critics, magazines and other media outlets and is gaining a bigger worldwide audience.
The band’s front man and main lyricist, Tony Dekker, has already been dubbed by one national publication as one of Canada’s best singer/songwriters — in the company of legends Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot.
By the way, I eventually realized that the reason I even had them on my iPod in the first place was because I’d heard them through NPR’s Song of the Day way back in March.
Even though my aforementioned favorite song can easily be found at both of those sites, I’m still going to post it here. I just love it too much.