Articles, Interviews, and Reviews

Praise for “Uncertain Country,” 2023

“A stunning variety of tones and textures… nothing less than both cerebral and sublime” – American Songwriter, 4/5

“It floats from country to folk to indie rock and back again, painting a sharp-toothed but achingly beautiful portrait of both the natural world and the human condition” – New Noise Magazine, Best Of 2023

“An ‘elsewhere’ where uncertainties and anxieties are often the most willing to make waves…Americana which strives to deal with traumas through padded atmospheres” – Rolling Stone France

“This collection of songs examines the passage of time masterfully… ‘Uncertain Country’ stands as some of the strongest & most consistent work by one of Canada’s best bands” – Great Dark Wonder

Album Review: BeatRoute, September 17, 2018

Great Lake Swimmers Unpack, Renew and Move Towards Something New

Tony Dekker is here to last, at least his music is. Frontman of Canadian indie band Great Lake Swimmers, Dekker and his melancholic voice have offered listeners an escape since their 2003 self titled EP. Back for a seventh album, The Waves, The Wake, Dekker and his band have chosen a different route, offering listeners with a significantly different sound than what is normally expected by the Toronto based band.
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Album Review: The Georgia Straight, September 12, 2018

After looking for new challenges, Great Lake Swimmers delivered something stunning with The Waves, The Wake

Sometimes changing things up isn’t necessary, but that didn’t stop Great Lake Swimmers founder Tony Dekker from doing just that on this year’s The Waves, the Wake.
To listen to the seventh album by the beautifully downbeat Ontario ambient-folk unit is to conclude that the status quo was no longer interesting for the singer-guitarist. Over its 15-year run, Great Lake Swimmers has built a reputation as the kind of band you reach for when the storm clouds are gathering in November and you’re hunkered down in a log cabin near Tofino, 100 Mile House, or the wilds of Cascadia.
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Album Review: The Vue, September 12, 2018

Great Lake Swimmers Create a Calming, Minimalist, Orchestral Environment on ‘The Waves, The Wake’

We are living in a sonic age where many musicians are constantly striving for a bigger, maximalist sound. Perhaps it’s due to listeners attention spans growing thinner, but the attractive standard seems to be forcing in instruments where they can’t breathe for a gargantuan effect. On his latest album The Waves, The Wake, Tony Dekker, of Juno-nominated group Great Lake Swimmers, did the exact opposite.
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Album Review: The Record, August 17, 2018

Swimmers Take On Deep Waters

Tony Dekker can do a whole lot with just his acoustic guitar and his absolutely stunning voice. That’s all that appeared on a sparsely packaged CDR in 2003 that became the Great Lake Swimmers’ debut album. Over the past 15 years, the band expanded, increased both the tempo and the volume, and by the time of 2015’s A Forest of Arms, the band had morphed into a solid roots-rock outfit that didn’t sound all that different from dozens of their peers in Canada, for better or worse.
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Interview: Analogue, August 2018

Great Lake Swimmers

After 15 years, Tony Dekker was ready for something new—some new direction or instrumentation to alter the musical course for Great Lake Swimmers. What emerged for the Canadian band was an inventive seventh studio album and a vulnerable new platform for Dekker, a “springboard” for a new future direction.
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Album Review:, August 14, 2018

Great Lake Swimmers: The Waves, The Wake

Say what you will about Great Lake Swimmers, but the Canadian alt-folk outfit can’t be accused of stagnation or resting on former glories. or their new LP, The Waves, The Wake, frontman Tony Dekker bucks against folk conventions.
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CD Review:, April, 2012

Great Lake Swimmers’ New Normal

On the evening of February 15, the international viewership of American Idol was exposed to a song called “Your Rocky Spine” by Toronto’s Great Lake Swimmers.
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Feature: Globe and Mail, April 10, 2012

Getting wild with the Great Lake Swimmers

It’s called New Wild Everywhere, but the fifth album from the Toronto folk-rockers Great Lake Swimmers is the first one they’ve made at a proper studio (rather than a church or an abandoned grain silo). “Wild,” then, is a relative term – what’s orderly to some is novel and unusual to another. The video of the title track, directed by Adam Makarenko and making its exclusive Canadian debut at, is set on Toronto Island, as “the sun sinks over the Big Smoke.” The city, wild in its own way, begins to get reclaimed by a wilderness that is commonplace on its bucolic island offshoot.
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CD Review: Now Toronto, April 5, 2012

New Wild Everywhere

Canadian folk-rockers Great Lake Swimmers are known for finding and incorporating creative locations into their recordings. But for their fifth album, they went the traditional route, hunkering down at Revolution Recording studio in Toronto with long-time producer Andy Magoffin.
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Interview: Winnipeg Free Press, April 5, 2012

Alt-folk band plumbs new depths on latest album

Toronto folkies Great Lake Swimmers recently played for a small, intimate crowd in front of the beluga tank at the Vancouver Aquarium. The following afternoon, the band’s main man Tony Dekker and friends were performing in front of stacks of jeans inside a trendy Gastown store for a special Vancouver Sun video session.
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Live Review: Chrome Waves, April 5, 2012

Great Lake Swimmers at Sonic Boom in Toronto

Toronto folkies Great Lake Swimmers recently played for a small, intimate crowd in front of the beluga tank at the Vancouver Aquarium. The following afternoon, the band’s main man Tony Dekker and friends were performing in front of stacks of jeans inside a trendy Gastown store for a special Vancouver Sun video session.
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German Press

CD Review: Platten Tests, April 10, 2012

Great Lake Swimmers, New Wild Everywhere 7/10

Der erste Song des Albums, er lockert schon mal die Stimmung auf, ohne aufdringlich zu wirken. Mit dem oder der Liebsten unter der Decke kuscheln und sich verliebte Blicke zuwerfen, dazu aus der Ferne ein Chor, leise Streicher, vielleicht ein Piano.
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Quick Press Quotes

“New Wild Everywhere is a treat of melodic proportions.”
— Paste Magazine

“New Wild Everywhere conveys a new maturity for the GLS, showcasing the assembled talents of the members, and highlights promises of even better things to come in their future.
— Blurt Magazine

“The Canadians’ fifth set tweaks their established formula with splendid results…gorgeous and rewarding…”

“It’s as outreaching as we’ve heard yet from GLS, and an indication that the sky is still Dekker’s limit…”
— The Globe & Mail

“New Wild Everywhere’s strengths — catchy melodies and soothing vocals — both calm and entice.”
– Magnet

“The result is a poppy, polished, triumphant record.”
— NOW magazine

“An incredible new album: This is another great notch on the belt of a band that has consistently put forth great music since their first release nearly a decade ago, and they show no signs of slowing down.”
— Northern Transmissions

“Dekker’s new songs remain artfully enigmatic and haunting”
— exclaim!