Published Feb 03, 2015Following 2013's solo effort Prayer of the Woods, songwriter Tony Dekker is back to focusing on his Toronto folk rock ensemble Great Lake Swimmers. Their latest long-player is called A Forest of Arms, and it will arrive on April 21 through Nettwerk Records.
Rather than recording in a dedicated session, Great Lake Swimmers made the album over a number of sessions in a scattering of locations. Curiously, some guitars and vocals were captured in the Tyendinaga Cavern and Caves in Tyendinaga, ON. This is a change from the band's last album, 2012's New Wild Everywhere, which was the first time they had recorded in a proper studio.
As we reported last year, Dekker cited his experiences with the World Wildlife Fund, through which he witnessed the impact of the BP oil spill, as well as the Northern Gateway Pipeline controversy, as sources of inspiration for the band's new songs.
"I've been incubating these songs and we'll see how it goes. I am trying to work with a kind of concept or through line that incorporates my recent experiences," Dekker said at the time. "I had a chance to visit this place [BC's Great Bear region] and actually sailed from Kitimat down through these passageways seeing incredible wildlife — species that are indigenous to that area. If one tanker spilled, say the size of the Exxon Valdez, the entire area would be obliterated and so would a culture that has existed since the beginning of time."
Kevin Kane of the Grapes of Wrath appears on the album. It was engineered by Justin Shane Nace and then mixed by Howie Beck.
That's the cover artwork above. For a taste of what the band have cooked up, scroll past the tracklist to hear the lushly orchestrated, wistful folk rock number "Zero in the City."
Also below, see the group's tour schedule, which consists of plenty of Canadian shows throughout the upcoming months. U.S. dates will be announces shortly.
A Forest of Arms:
1. Something Like a Storm
2. Zero in the City
3. Shaking All Over
4. Don't Leave Me Hanging
5. One More Charge at the Red Cape
6. I Was a Wayward Pastel Bay
7. A Bird Flew Inside the House
8. A Jukebox in a Desert of Snow
9. I Must Have Someone Else's Blues
10. The Great Bear
11. With Every Departure
12. Expecting You
02/27 Oakville, ON - The Oakville Centre
04/15 London, ON - Aeolian Performing Arts
04/16 London, ON - Aeolian Performing Arts
04/17 Wakefield, QC - The Blacksheep Inn
04/18 Wakefield, QC - The Blacksheep Inn
04/23 Toronto, ON - The Randolph Theatre
04/24 Toronto, ON - The Randolph Theatre
05/25 Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Centre
05/27 Saskatoon, SK - Broadway Theatre
05/29 Edmonton, AB - Royal Albert Museum Theatre
05/30 Calgary, AB - Central United Church
06/01 Nelson, BC - Civic Theatre
06/03 Victoria, BC - Alix Goolden Hall
06/04 Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre