Great Lake Swimmers – New Wild Everywhere

written by: April 18, 2012
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012


Something about Great Lake Swimmers sounds much like Ray LaMontagne between the lines of his slower material. In “Be Here Now” or “Forever My Friend” LaMontagne entertains with a slow bravery that is parallel to many of the songs on Great Lake Swimmers’ New Wild Everywhere.

Initially listeners can tell this band’s style is incredibly well-defined, which is ultimately consistent throughout their album. It achieves success in thoroughness of their craft, varying only slightly to add culture to the mix. Great Lake Swimmers have achieved the specificity in their genre, which is a feat to be honored in your band’s musical spectrum.

As Great Lake Swimmers revel in their low-energy work, the band might become greatly caught up in their own troubles and emotions. If the album were laid out less strategically, separating more beat-driven songs from the more hushed rhythms, listeners could easily argue that New Wild Everywhere is too mellow. But the band was smart to disperse more thrilling tunes evenly throughout the album to keep listeners awake.

A few songs, among them “Changes With The Wind” won’t bring you down like the rest do. Well, it’s not to say that they totally depress their listeners with their music or even if the band had intended to be so melancholy-sounding, it’s just that the album isn’t one to bring your spirits up when you’re down. It’ll wind you deeper into your thoughts.

Something gets lost when Great Lake Swimmers become too electronic. This may not be their specialty, in songs like the title track where things spin in a different direction, the melody gets lost. Starter “On The Water” and the fluid “Cornflower Blue” are where the band maintains strength. “Quiet Your Mind” has an incredible musical interlude within it, for example, which not only expands the song but complicates it, adding character to the song where there was a void in storytelling. Needless to say, the album has no lack of generous display of instrumental ability.

Just like in “The Knife” where the words of Great Lake Swimmers are paired with gentle imagery in order to paint the canvas of their story. This is something to close your eyes to.

New Wild Everywhere isn’t fully transparent and doesn’t give any leads into the meaning behind their stories. Unfortunately for listeners, much of this content is vague and foggy, though poetic and spiritual.

It’s indulgent for the writers to produce so much material without aiding listeners in their efforts to make sense of their content.  This may come off as selfish to those who aren’t able to transcribe the work of the band, perceiving it as difficult and cloudy. Fans need songwriters to throw them a bone every now and then in order for things to work. Otherwise it can leave listeners lost and feeling empty, like nothing was gained from the experience.

“On The Water,” for example, is endearing and cute yet terribly dragging. It carries New Wild Everywhere to a drawn out and dull finish, which is not a note any artist should wish to end on. Ultimately, though, the album stays afloat with its quality in well-produced and experienced music-making, leaving it up to instrumentals and highly artistic word-making (however indulgent) in order to let New Wild Everywhere succeed.

Great Lake Swimmers – New Wild Everywhere tracklist:

  1. “On the Water”
  2. “Parkdale Blues”
  3. “Quiet Your Mind”
  4. “Ballad of a Fisherman’s Wife”
  5. “Easy Come Easy Go”
  6. “Fields of Progeny”
  7. “Changes With the Wind”
  8. “Cornflower Blue”
  9. “The Knife”
  10. “The Great Exhale”
  11. “New Wild Everywhere”
  12. “Think That You Might Be Wrong”