Tuesday 03 April 2012
Quiet your mind
It’s been one of those days in one of those weeks for me. Lucky enough to have had an advance copy of Great Lake Swimmers‘ New Wild Everywhere for a few weeks now, but every time I sit down to write this post, something happens to my thought processes and I can’t get it to make any sense. I usually write about albums and artists as I listen to their music, but with this album, the act of listening to it seems to scramble my brain waves and leaves me frustrated and walking away from the computer. I tried listening to the album without the pressure of having to write sentences and paragraphs, keeping a pad and pencil close by to jot down any thoughts I might have, but all I came up with is, “the band sounds tight,” and “decent album”: very articulate, no?
So here’s the long and the short of it, written in silence, with only the memories of the record to guide my way:
It’s not you, Great Lake Swimmers, it’s me. I had high expectations for New Wild Everywhere, higher than I should have had, higher than you could have possibly reached, and I let that get the better of me. After hearing “Easy Come Easy Go”, I wanted this record to be chock full of knee-slapping, poppy rockers just like it. I imagined a record that would take Great Lake Swimmers in a completely different direction, into new, uncharted territory. It’s not that kind of record, though. You’re not that kind of band, either. There are more upbeat moments, as the bouncy title track attests, but the subtle and gentle beauty of songs like “Quiet Your Mind” is where your songwriting shines, Tony Dekker, and where the band you’ve assembled under the Great Lake Swimmers moniker hit their stride. You have indeed ventured into new territory, recording the majority of this album in a traditional studio, and the more polished sound the surroundings bring to country rockers like “Changes With the Wind” sees you moving forward, expanding the palette of textures and colours beyond the sombre hues of your previous records.
There’s something to be said for knowing your strengths and playing to it, and New Wild Everywhere does that superbly. It’s a lesson I’ve taken to heart in writing this post. I hope my ramblings have been articulate enough for you. New Wild Everywhere is released today on Nettwerk Records. If you haven’t yet heard “easy Come Easy Go”, you can check it out on the embedded SoundCloud player below, along with the album’s closing track, “Les Champs De Progéniture”.
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