“…a beautiful, hypnotic track wrapped in a rich, comforting warmth…” – CBC Music (re: “The Talking Wind”)

“’The Talking Wind’ sees a band experimenting with orchestral sounds in novel ways, and to significant artistic effect.” – Culture Collide

2018 marks the 15th anniversary of Great Lake Swimmers. The JUNO nominated, Polaris Prize shortlisted Toronto group, fronted by lead singer-songwriter Tony Dekker are pleased to announce new album The Waves, The Wake, releasing August 17, 2018 via Nettwerk. Recorded in the 145-year-old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario and produced by Chris Stringer (Union Sound), lead singer-songwriter Tony Dekker decided to challenge himself by recording the new songs without using a standard acoustic guitar, which has always been his instrumental mainstay. The album is broadly varied with each song brought to life in its own distinctive way, using an acoustic palette that includes woodwinds, harp, congas, marimba and pipe organ.

Great Lake Swimmers will embark on a headline Canadian tour, starting on September 13th in Regina, SK at The Exchange and ending in Sudbury, ON at The Townhouse on September 29th. A full list of dates is below.

Stay tuned for more updates from Great Lake Swimmers in the coming weeks.

The Waves, The Wake Track Listing:

The Talking Wind
In A Certain Light
Alone But Not Alone
Falling Apart
Side Effects
The Real Work
Root Systems
Unmaking The Bed
Visions Of A Different World
Holding Nothing Back
Mouth Of Flames
The Open Sea

Great Lake Swimmers Tour Dates:

4/21 – Uxbridge, ON @ Springtide Music Festival
5/4 – Hamilton, ON @ Mills Hardware
5/5 – Creemore, ON @ Avening Community Centre
5/25 – Burnstown, ON @ Neat Coffee Shop
6/2 – Windsor, ON @ Olde Walkerville Theatre
7/6 – 7/8 – Kincardine, ON @ Kincardine Scottish Festival
8/21 – Gravenhurst, ON @ Peter’s Players
9/13 – Regina, SK @ The Exchange
9/14 – Saskatoon, SK @ Broadway Theatre
9/15 – Sherwood Park, AB @ Festival Place
9/16 – Calgary, AB @ Festival Hall
9/17 – Nelson, BC @ Spirit Bar
9/20 – Victoria, BC @ Capital Ballroom
9/21 – Vancouver, BC @ Imperial
9/22 – Penticton, BC @ The Dream Café
9/24 – Red Deer, AB @ Bo’s Bar
9/26 – Winnipeg, MB @ West End Cultural Centre
9/27 – Thunder Bay, ON @ Crocks
9/29 – Sudbury, ON @ The Townhouse

For advance ticket links and more details visit our SHOWS page.

The Waves, The Wake cover

Great Lake Swimmers Debut The Talking Wind Video and Announce Side Effects EP Release

Great Lake Swimmers released two new singles in February, and now there’s a stunning new video to accompany one of them — plus the announcement of the band’s new digital EP, “Side Effects” out Friday, April 13.

Directed by Anthony von Seck and filmed in the 145-year-old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ont. — where the band recorded the single — the video for “The Talking Wind” centres on Great Lake Swimmers performing in the church, awash in striking purple and blue lights, at times inter-spliced with shots of wheat swaying back and forth in time with the music. It’s a beautiful session that highlights every moving part of the song, which was arranged by Drew Jurecka and co-produced by Chris Stringer (Union Sound).

Watch the video below, premiered earlier this week by CBC Music, and check out the full tracklist and album cover for Friday’s “Side Effects” EP release via Nettwerk below that.

Great Lake Swimmers – “The Talking Wind” Official Music Video:

Side Effects EP tracklist:

1. “Side Effects”
2. “The Talking Wind”
3. “Falling Apart”
4. “Your Rocky Spine”
5. “Quiet Your Mind”
6. “I Became Awake”


Great Lake Swimmers have just released a new single, “Falling Apart / The Talking Wind” which embodies a minimal, atmospheric approach taken with first new music from the group in quite some time.

The Talking Wind” premiered last week on Culture COLLiDE and on CBC in Canada, and as songwriter Tony Dekker explains, “I had become somewhat disenchanted with the acoustic guitar, and thought it was appropriate for a song about the wind to be made up entirely of woodwinds and vocals. There’s a rhythmic, hypnotic quality to them. Lyrically, I think it argues that the elements and nature can sometimes be the finest sources of comfort and solace.”

“Falling Apart” followed a similar process, paring things down to dreamy layers of harp, piano, and vocals.

The new tracks were co-produced with Chris Stringer (Union Sound), and the lush acoustics of the historical 144-year-old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario lend the songs their ambient backdrop.

Great Lake Swimmers are doing select tour dates in Ontario this spring.

Check out the new single here:

“…a beautiful, hypnotic track wrapped in a rich, comforting warmth…” – CBC

 “’The Talking Wind’ sees a band experimenting with orchestral sounds in novel ways, and to significant artistic effect.” – Culture Collide

Falling Apart / The Talking Wind single cover

Upcoming Tour Dates:
March 1 – St. Catharines, ON @ FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
March 3 – Waterford, ON @ Waterford Town Hall
May 4 – Hamilton, ON @ Mills Hardware
May 5 – Creemore, ON @ Avening Community Centre
May 25 – Burnstown, ON @ Neat Coffee Shop
June 2 – Windsor, ON @ Olde Walkerville Theatre


Great Lake Swimmers have released a new holiday EP titled They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore. It consists of two original songs, “They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore” and “Ink For A Star” and two classic Christmas covers, “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” and a 17th century yuletide carol, “Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella.”

Singer/songwriter Tony Dekker shares some thoughts about each song:

‘They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore’
This time of year my thoughts go to the Township of Wainfleet, Ontario, and my large family of nieces, nephews, siblings, aunts, and uncles. ‘They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore’ might be a nostalgia-tinged song about the days before thoughtless consumerism, but it might also be about the memory of those we’ve lost over the years and remember in our big family gatherings. Recorded during a tour stop in Sackville, New Brunswick at Thunder & Lightning by James Anderson, we were lucky that Julie Doiron happened to be home to join us with some sweet harmonies.

‘Ink For A Star’
The holidays in Canada are made up of incredibly powerful images which for many of us include the deep freeze and snow. Winter can be a great time to get outside and enjoy the season, but it can be even better to watch it unfold from the warmth and hearth of a rural home. ‘Ink For A Star’ is a winter word collage of things remembered from Canadian winters as a child.

‘It Came Upon A Midnight Clear’
‘It Came Upon A Midnight Clear’ is one of the darker holiday songs in the canon, and it’s timely to take a closer look at its lyrics. Melancholic and inspired by times of war, it notes the suffering world and ‘two thousand years of wrong’ while imploring us to consider peace. The verses adapted for this version were meant to highlight that, and it is a good reminder that there are other routes to peaceful resolutions than conflict and war. It was recorded at the House Of Miracles with Andy Magoffin.

‘Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella’
One of the oldest carols we know of is ‘Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella’ which dates back to 17th century France. Originally titled ‘Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle’ it was later translated into English, and with its strong melody we were surprised that it hasn’t had more of a mainstream presence in our native Ontario. Here we present our minimal, acoustic-strummed version that we hope will find its way into your heart.

They Don’t Make Them Like that Anymore is available now worldwide on iTunes and Spotify via Nettwerk.


They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore holiday EP cover

Great Lake Swimmers Release Back Catalog And A Limited 4-LP Box Set

Great Lake Swimmers is thrilled to announce the Paper Bag Vintage vinyl release of their first three albums as well as an online exclusive box set on October 20th.

The Swimmers’ critically-acclaimed titles, ‘Great Lake Swimmers’ (2003), ‘Bodies and Minds’ (2005), and ‘Ongiara’ (2007), newly remastered, will be available for the first time on clear vinyl along with a limited edition box set that has a fourth bonus record. ‘Demos and Outtakes: 2001-2007’, curated by Tony Dekker, is a very special song collection exclusive to the box and includes B-sides, demos, outtakes, and other rarities from the Great Lake Swimmers’ vaults.

The box set is limited to 200 copies and contains:

  • a signed and numbered print poster
  • clear vinyl lps of ‘Great Lake Swimmers’, ‘Bodies and Minds’, and ‘Ongiara’
  • bonus record of B-sides, demos, outtakes, and other rarities
  • 4 post card set plus sticker

E-order your copy here:

Paper Bag Vintage is committed to curating a vinyl only collection of Canada’s most notable albums and in association with the Swimmers’ long time labels (weewerk) and Nettwerk are humbled to be releasing the imprint’s second box set with one of our country’s greatest musical exports.

Upcoming Shows:

Sat. Nov. 11 :: London ON :: Aeolian Hall (El Sistema Benefit)

Thu Mar 01, 2018 – St. Catherines ON –  FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
Advance tickets, more details: 

Paper Bag Vintage box set cover    Paper Bag Vintage box set albums


Great Lake Swimmers have a number of concert dates coming up in September. Dunedin Literary Festival, in Dunedin, Ontario on September 9th will feature music inspired by the work of Canadian novelist Nino Ricci as well as a reading from Nino’s recent work and a Q & A with the band and author about their respective writing processes. For more details and ticket information visit:

The band will also be playing several dates for the Festival of Small Halls in the Ottawa area, specifically;
Sept 14 – Elgin, ON @ Chaffey’s Lock Community Hall
Sept 15 – Almonte, ON @ Almonte Old Town Hall
Sept 17 – Tamworth, ON @ Tamworth Legion
for more details please visit:

We’re also over the moon to be headlining the Sandbanks Music Festival on September 16th in Prince Edward County along the shores of Lake Ontario, with Lowest of the Low, the Inbreds, By Divine Right and many others. This one is going to be special! Advance ticket and camping information here:

We’re also happy to announce that we’ve begun work on a new full length album, with tracks recently recorded at Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario. The decommissioned church is now being managed by our friends at the Aeolian Hall and hosts London’s El Sistema music program. There are plans to develop its use as a performance space and we were thrilled to be able to catch some of its unbelievable natural acoustics and general good feel. The Swimmers will be performing at a charity gala to raise funds for this endeavor on November 11th at the Aeolian Hall. Advance tickets and more details here:

Tony is currently part of the Canada C3 Expedition which is navigating Canada’s three coast lines and exploring themes of diversity, reconciliation, environment and youth with stops in communities along the way, and in light of Canada’s 150th birthday. Canada is much older than 150 years! He is a musician in residence on Leg 7, which sails from Iqaluit to Qikiqtarjuaq in Canada’s arctic, Nunavut Territory. Follow the trip on the Great Lake Swimmers’ Twitter and Instagram, or at the Canada C3 Facebook page and website:

The Thesis Project brings together musicians from somewhat disparate worlds and Tony was thrilled to be asked to collaborate with the duo Kinbrae from Scotland. There are four new tracks that they worked on together and which will be released as a limited edition 10″ vinyl record. Subscriptions are also available for this amazing, ongoing series. Released on 10″ vinyl only and limited to an edition of 300. Each album comes with an original cover by Gregory Euclide with a handmade sleeve and jacket. Order information here: and you can check out song samples hear:

Great Lake Swimmers Headline Free Concert in Brooklyn, NY to Celebrate Canada Day

Great Lake Swimmers are headlining a FREE concert event in Brooklyn, New York to celebrate Canada Day.

July 1 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Well with Kasador and Common Deer

To reserve your tickets please visit this link:

Set times are:
Common Deer – 6:30 pm
Kasador – 7:30 pm
Great Lake Swimmers – 8:30 pm

Tony Dekker Collaborates With Kinbrae For Thesis 09 Release

Very proud and honoured to be part of the Thesis project series with new music in collaboration with ambient/drone/found sounds/orchestral/modern classical duo Kinbrae. It will be a limited 10″ vinyl record release, with hand made original artwork by renowned artist Gregory Euclide. Subscriptions are available at until mid-July.  It was a sonic adventure developing these tracks and a truly unique perspective on songwriting; I hope you get a chance to check them out. – td.


Great Lake Swimmers are proud to announce that they will be headlining the Sandbanks Music Festival in Picton, Ontario which takes place on Saturday, September 16th.

The festival also features The Inbreds, By Divine Right, Safia Nolin, Vallens, Solids and The Lonely Parade.
Advance tickets and more details available at:


Great Lake Swimmers are excited to be performing April 28th at the CONCERT AT THE CAVE at The Cave & Basin National Historic Site in Banff Alberta to help celebrate Canada’s 150th.

The birthplace of Canada’s national parks, the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, has a rich history and connection to nature that continues to be shared in unique ways today, like Concert at the Cave. This quaint,
intimate venue has presented arena sell-out artists such as Steven Page, frontman of the Barenaked Ladies, and Cape Breton fiddler and international performer, Natalie MacMaster. Concert at the Cave is in proud collaboration with Parks Canada.

This concert is a FREE, family-friendly event! Space is limited so get your free tickets to guarantee your spot.

Great Lake Swimmers • Friday, April 28 • 7:00 p.m. (Doors open at 6:00 p.m.)
Click here to reserve your free tickets for Friday’s concert: