• The Lost Channels at #10 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart in its first week in March 2009 , re-entering the Top 10 in May, and was #1 on the Amazon MP3 downloads chart.
• The Lost Channel was shortlisted for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize .
• “See You On the Moon” can be heard on prime time television in a Honda ad .
• A wonderful atmosphere…minimalist well done – New York Times
• Ambient Zen Americana – Mojo Magazine
• Spiritual folk of the most affecting variety – Stylus
• a remarkably haunting, heartfelt folk-pop sound, mixing ambient textures with skilful instrumental interplay - Eye Weekly
• starkly evocative and melodically melancholic...simple, yet stirring" - Paste Magazine
• All Music : 4 stars . Pitchfolk : 7.2/10
• The band's style has been compared to Red House Painters . Nick Drake , Iron & Wine , Neil Young and Bonnie “Prince Billy ” and Sufjan Stevens .
• Beijing based net-label MicroMu (www.buchadian.com) will be releasing the Legion Sessions album for free download through their site in mid-December.
When Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker wrote the song “Everything is Moving So Fast,” he couldn’t have predicted that it would foreshadow the rapid success of the Toronto band’s fourth album, LOST CHANNELS. For a project that has seen a slow upward trajectory since its humble beginnings in 2001, the Great Lake Swimmers are suddenly getting exponentially more attention across North America and Europe, entrancing newcomers to the band with Dekker’s unforgettable voice and compelling songwriting.
That LOST CHANNELS was a success in Canada is no surprise: Great Lake Swimmers have long been a word-of-mouth favourite for whom critical mass was inevitable, and they are regarded as a national treasure by the country’s public broadcaster, the CBC; LOST CHANNELS recently topped the chart on CBC Radio 3 (which is also broadcast in the U.S. on Sirius Satellite Radio). It also sat at #1 on iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter chart.
But it’s not just the home team cheering on the Swimmers. LOST CHANNELS attained the #2 Most-Added position at the influential radio trade magazine Friday Morning Quarterback. It debuted at #10 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart in its first week, re-entering the Top 10 in May, and was #1 on the Amazon MP3 downloads chart. Meanwhile, an older non-album track, “See You On the Moon,” can be heard on prime time television in a Honda ad. And individual bloggers have been massive champions: Great Lake Swimmers reached “Most Blogged Artist” status on premier MP3 site Hype Machine.
No doubt much of this has been fuelled in part by public endorsements by the likes of Feist, Robert Plant, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and cyclist Lance Armstrong. The latter two have both raved about the band on their personal websites; the former have handpicked the Great Lake Swimmers to open shows and whole tours. They’ve also shared bills with Bela Fleck & The Sparrow Quartet, Hayden, Goldfrapp, and Bill Callahan of Smog.
This sudden exposure is new for a band that has always dwelled in shadows, telling tales of hidden histories, singing of "mining for light in the dark wells," of being "tuned to an instrument of greater and unknown design."
The instrument in question is the singular voice of Tony Dekker, a voice that summons ghosts from times past. It’s a voice that is capable of conveying heartache and comfort all in the space of a single phrase. Though his supporting cast has changed over the years—with the exception of longtime right-hand man Erik Arnesen — Dekker has always encircled him self with sympathetic players who value spacious arrangements that frame his vocals. Over time, the band has evolved from a sparse, delicate and hushed unit into a well-rounded folk rock band, sacrificing none of their original inti