Also among the new releases this week is the highly anticipated fifth album by Canadian band Great Lake Swimmers – New Wild Everywhere – who have a handful of UK dates starting next week. Read Simon Holland’s review of the album below and watch them performing Easy Come Easy Go.
Great Lake Swimmers – New Wild Everywhere (Nettwerk)
Wild isn’t exactly the word that springs to mind when describing the gentle, pastoral, melodic songs of Tom Dekker, yet the forces and the power of nature, its flora and fauna permeate his words, suggesting some sort of over-arching connectivity. Whether this results from an actual rural idyll or from a desire for elusive tranquillity, the pluck and bow, the ebb and flow of mostly acoustic instruments resonate with images of fields, forests, foothills, wolves, water, wind, ageing rocks, soaring birds in flight and breathing sweet air.
Of course it’s not necessarily all so straightforward as this is emotional as well as geographical territory and these allegories are somewhat veiled and misty visions. Still, the wolf is at the door from the opening line of Think That You Might Be Wrong, which asks the question “What time is it, would you tell me wolf?” The concern of, “Are you coming round here with your teeth so sharp?” quickly follows. The natural symbolism continues through Changes With The Wind, Cornflower Blue, Fields Of Progeny, Ballad Of A Fisherman’s Wife and On The Water. Perhaps the latter is the most significant: a hymnal tale of rowing into a storm only for a blurred vision of “every fish swimming fast beside me, and all kinds of leaves from all different trees, and all of the insects that circle the earth, birds and land animals reaching towards birth,” to restore acceptance and calm.
It’s all beautifully arranged, played and recorded with most tracks featuring a guest or three adding strings or horns through pedal steel, baritone guitar and keys to the core quintet. Dekker’s voice brings a fragile tremor to these bitter-sweet melodies and Miranda Mullholland adds her voice in support as well as fiddle. Guitarist Erik Arnesen provides just the right amount of muscle, while the rhythm section of drummer Greg Millson and upright bassist Brett Higgins creates the launch pad for the others’ flights. It’s stirring stuff and a persuasive feeling that you should stand up, take a walk and embrace the great outdoors takes hold. Once there, if you open your eyes you might just connect to that New Wild Everywhere. [Reviewed by Simon]
No shows booked at the moment.