Canadian folk-popsters Great Lake Swimmers have, over the course of nearly a decade, steadily become one of their country’s most successful indie exports, to the point where new album “New Wild Everywhere” is set to arrive in early April with a healthy amount of expectation. Chief Swimmer Tony Dekker (he of the pining, wistful voice) writes the kind of songs that blend a pleasing sense of melodic awareness with a naturalistic sensibility that’s entirely in keeping with the songwriter’s childhood growing up around (you guessed it) the Great Lakes. Under the polished veneer of accomplished songwriting the band maintain a rootsy feel, exemplified by the bewitching violin parts of Miranda Mulholland, but like those American folk-pop icons the Decemberists, this is music whose roots may be folky but whose branches increasingly expand into broader, wider spaces.
Previous album (the band’s fourth) “Lost Channels” was something of a breakthrough for the band, and was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, while celebrity admirers appeared from the woodwork quicker than you could say Tour de France. The band’s sound is developed further on “New Wild Everywhere”. Opening track “Think That You Might Be Wrong” manages to be both simple and grand, a trait which Dekker’s songwriting has always had in spades and sets the tone for an album which combines some of “Lost Channels” hummable immediacy with the intimacy of earlier works. That intimacy should work rather well in the cavern-like Green Door Store, a live venue where mod-cons are minimal and music is king, which is just how it should be.