Featuring a blend of acoustic instruments, rural soundscapes, and wistful vocals, Great Lake Swimmers are a critically acclaimed indie-folk group led by songwriter/vocalist Tony Dekker. Based in Toronto, Ontario, the group emerged with a succession of heavily atmospheric albums recorded in old silos and rural country churches. The music has developed that pastoral warmth over subsequent albums through a continued vision to record and perform in acoustically unique and historical locales. They are renowned for their homespun folk and lush, intimate Americana in their live shows.
Great Lake Swimmers celebrated their 15th anniversary in 2018 with the release of “The Waves, The Wake,” which displayed both their pop-oriented side as well as a new direction utilizing instruments like marimba, harp, lute, and woodwinds and adopted a more orchestral and improvisational approach to modern folk music. They have been shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize and nominated twice for Canada’s Juno Awards, with the CBC calling them “a national treasure.”
Their latest offering is 2021’s double LP, “Live At The Redeemer,” an archival live performance from the album release concert for “Ongiara” at Toronto’s Church of the Redeemer.
“Dekker’s preoccupation with the Canadian state of mind flourishes in his lyrics. Few songwriters are able to convey the country’s harsh beauty as well. …Canadian folk tradition personified in the 21st century” – Exclaim!
“Dekker has done a masterful job of finding that balance on The Waves, the Wake, which has enough connections to the past to satisfy long-time fans of Great Lake Swimmers even while the singer looks to the future and moves forward as an artist.” – The Georgia Straight
“A minimalist, atmospheric compendium of songs with a sonic environment the listener can easily get lost in.” – The Vue
“Ambient Zen Americana” – Mojo