Infinite Shuffle

November 29, 2009

5 – Great Lake Swimmers

Filed under: G, Toronto — assman41 @ 12:01 am

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.

There is plenty of free music to listen at their official website, where they have seven songs posted, and their MySpace page, where there are 12 tracks.

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.

Great Lake Swimmers – Pulling On a Line



  1. […] Lake Swimmers … “Lost Channels” … As I’ve mentioned before, this is a great album and includes my favorite song of the year. … Best song: “Pulling […]

    Pingback by Best of 2009 – My list « My Tunes — January 14, 2010 @ 5:22 am

  2. […] Great Lake Swimmers … “Lost Channels” (2009) […]

    Pingback by Best of The Aughts – My list « My Tunes — January 16, 2010 @ 12:29 am

  3. […] The only thing that stood out to me was that things seemed a little more folky — closer to the sound of the Great Lake Swimmers. […]

    Pingback by 25 – Grand Archives « My Tunes — April 25, 2010 @ 12:52 am

  4. […] Great Lake Swimmers … amazingly harmonious, indie-folk […]

    Pingback by SXSW 2011: The torrent « Infinite Shuffle — March 6, 2011 @ 1:47 am

  5. […] Notable acts: The Boxer Rebellion (acoustic), The Wooden Birds, Apex Manor, Ivan & Alyosha, Great Lake Swimmers, Trampled by Turtles […]

    Pingback by SXSW 2011: The gameplan « Infinite Shuffle — March 15, 2011 @ 12:20 am

  6. […] know. But we may have an early day tomorrow. There was talk of showing up as early as noon to catch Great Lake Swimmers. But they’re also playing a later set elsewhere, which is what I’d prefer to […]

    Pingback by SXSW 2011: Day 1 « Infinite Shuffle — March 17, 2011 @ 1:36 am

  7. […] started with us scurrying downtown to get to the Canada House party in time to see Great Lake Swimmers perform. We showed up at the second floor of Paradise Cafe during the middle of the Swimmers’ […]

    Pingback by SXSW 2011: Day 2 « Infinite Shuffle — March 18, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  8. […] feels like it’s been forever since this Toronto group put out a new album. In actuality, it was only 2009 when they released […]

    Pingback by Updates: Some good, some not so much « Infinite Shuffle — June 20, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

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