After five albums, the five-member roots band that names itself after the five Great Lakes, gets into forests on album #6. A Forest of Arms has been released by Toronto’s Great Lake Swimmers, and it surges with violins, guitars, upright acoustic bass, a dynamic rhythm section, and some banjo. The band likes to weave music around themes of natural beauty and explore environmental issues. In keeping with this, the group chose to record some of the music in natural environments as well as studios that had a unique connection to nature.
Captured in the Tyendinaga Caves were reverberations hauntingly manipulated by rock walls, stalactites, and circling bats. Check out tracks “Don’t Leave Me Hanging,” “The Great Bear,” and “With Every Departure” for that. The band also used Chalet Studio which sits amidst rolling hills near the shores of Lake Ontario. Track “The Great Bear” was inspired by a trip to the northern rainforests of BC. The Grapes of Wrath’s Kevin Kane is one of the guest musicians on the album. Two JUNO nominations to date have come to Great Lake Swimmers. iTunes