Great Lake Swimmers
Great Lake Swimmers
Leslie Mendelson and Christian Lopez
Photo credit: Adam CK Vollick
Doubt, followed by discovery. Demos that ended up as finished tracks. New beginnings, rear-view reflections, and ruminations on the fluidity of time: Uncertain Country captures these feelings and so much more.
This celebration, 11-songs long, follows a prolonged period of collective anxiety. Though recorded in different locales—and with a variety of musicians—a theme of questioning runs throughout. Even before the world turned upside down, singer-songwriter Tony Dekker felt mired in uncertainty: from the climate crisis and the ever-changing political landscape to deep shifts within the music industry. The “uncertain country” Dekker chose as the album’s theme is not a specific place. Rather, it’s a territory we, as humans, inhabit in the 21st century — a world that, more often than not, is confusing, unfamiliar and unsettling.
The long journey from there to here started more than three years ago, when Dekker took a 10-day trip to one of his favorite places: the north shore of Lake Superior. A pair of friends and collaborators: Adam CK Vollick (who filmed the experience) and Joe Lapinski (who co-produced Uncertain Country) joined him. On this immersive trip, the songwriter soaked in the beauty of the landscapes and learned the stories of the people who have inhabited them since time immemorial.
Making this joyful noise together again set a tone—and direction—for the record. The music morphed from hushed and folky to a more comforting, curated listening experience, acting as a kind of salve. One hears echoes of some of Dekker’s early 1990s influences: propeller-pop and indie lo-fi bands like Teenage Fanclub, Galaxie 500, and Buffalo Tom.
The rest of the songs on Uncertain Country were recorded in other acoustically distinctive locations close to Dekker’s home in the Niagara Region. Locales included the Silver Spire United Church in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario and a pair of buildings in Ball’s Falls Conservation Area in the village of Jordan Station: an old chapel that featured a pump organ and a historic barn on the same property.
Twenty years since the first self-titled release, Uncertain Country shows a songwriter at the top of his craft with so much more to say. In a time of uncertainty, one thing is certain: the Great Lake Swimmers’ first collection of new songs in five years is worth the wait.
Read MoreDesign Visual
$22 - Advance
$25 - Doors
- Nov 11, 2023 7:30 PM Add to cal