The Catalyst

Great Lake Swimmers

Live in The Atrium

Great Lake Swimmers

Joshua Hyslop

Fri, November 2, 2018

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Catalyst

Santa Cruz, CA

$12 in Advance / $15 at the Door

This event is 16 and over

Great Lake Swimmers
Great Lake Swimmers
2018 marks the 15th anniversary of Great Lake Swimmers. Over seven albums, multiple EPs, live broadcasts, and reissues, the Toronto-based project led by singer-songwriter Tony Dekker has established itself as a beloved indie folk act in their native Canada and beyond. The CBC has called them “a national treasure” while their music has taken them around the world, sharing a sound that is at once familiar and distinct, using the tools of folk music as the starting point to delve deeper.

It’s this contrast and evolution that brings them to their latest release, The Waves, The Wake – a metaphor for the future ahead, and the past trailing behind. Abandoning the acoustic guitar, this new collection of songs sees the group branching out to include new sounds such as harp, lute, pipe organ, woodwinds, congas and marimbas, alongside the more familiar flecks and chimes of the banjo, piano, and 12-string electric guitar. The stunning acoustics of the historic, 145 year old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario lend the atmospheric touch to the album, under the guidance of co-producer Chris Stringer (Union Sound). This record is about the songs, first and foremost, and was made with many of Toronto’s most talented players, including arrangements by Drew Jurecka and electric guitar appearances both atmospheric and spirited by Kevin Kane (Grapes Of Wrath). Long time collaborators Erik Arnesen (banjo, guitar), Bret Higgins (bass), and Josh Van Tassel (percussion) also contribute their considerable musicianship.

“The Talking Wind” opens the album solely with woodwinds and vocals, setting the tone with its scaled back, minimalist approach. Similarly sparse arrangements on “Falling Apart” pair a meditative, layered piano with an appearance by renowned harpist Mary Lattimore alongside Dekker’s haunting, plaintive vocals. Bridging the album to the group’s past work, the lonely jangle of “Alone But Not Alone” is a study in song-craft; “Side Effects” matches lyrical substance to musical motifs with its expressive vibraphone, tempo variations, and vocal effects.

But perhaps the album’s centerpiece is the entirely a cappella “Visions Of A Different World” with its ghostly, longing vocals nakedly bearing its message.

Great Lake Swimmers have twice been nominated for Juno Awards, have been shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Prize, and won a Canadian Indie Award for Favourite Folk/Roots Artist/Group. They have shared the stage as support for such musical luminaries as Robert Plant, Feist, and Calexico, and have appeared as headliners for many of Canada’s major Folk Music festivals. Their relentless touring schedule and countless live shows have helped them develop devoted fan bases across Canada, the US, Europe, the UK and many points beyond. Mojo dubbed them “Ambient Zen Americana” and Exclaim has described them as a “cherished blend of folk and orchestral indie pop.”
Joshua Hyslop
Joshua Hyslop
During 2016, critically acclaimed Canadian singer and songwriter Joshua Hyslop didn’t have tolook far for the inspiration behind his third full-length album, Echos[NETTWERK].“2016 was a tough yearfor a lot of people,” he explains. "A lot of my new songs were inspired by the hardships of others around me. A handful of songs are based on my own experiences but, largely, the record came from observing people who I’m close to. I wanted to take those real experiences and echo them, being as true to them as I possibly could. Honouring them. Words were structured to be very empathetic.”Empathy has been a consistent hallmark of Hyslop’s approach. His albums continually strike ahuman chord. Following a marathon run of 100-plus intimate “House Shows,” he released InDeepest Bluein 2015 and subsequently became astreaming phenomenon averagingover 1.6 million monthly listeners and touted on popular Spotifyplaylists such as“Acoustic Covers,” “Your Favorite Coffeehouse,” “Relax & Unwind,” and more. “The Flood”generated over 14.3 million streams, while “The Spark” crossed the 9-million mark. Meanwhile, he would be featured by American Songwriter, NPR, Exclaim!, and more whileregularly touring worldwide. Two years later inFebruary 2017, he retreated to Afterlife Studios inVancouver, BC to record Echos.In order to capture the essence of these 11 tracks, he re-teamed with his In Deepest Bluecollaborator John Rahambehind the board. Tracked in only three weeks, they bottled thepalpableenergy in the room. At the same time, the subject matter markedly differed from thatof his last offering.Introducing the album, the stark contrast of Hyslop’s whispered delivery and raw guitar makesthe first single “Fall” resound with passion, pain, and power all at once. He goes on, “It’s aboutsomebody reaching the end of the line and feeling hopeless and not being sure how to move forward. It’s hard to get back on track. That’s a common thread in life. I don't know what it’s like to go through theirexperiences,but I can write about them from the outside.”Delicate acoustic guitars and lush violin course through the follow-up single “Say It Again.”Hyslop’s vocal vulnerability carries the searing admission, “Oh my heart is going places. Oh myGod, I’m going down.”“This one is about my life,” he admits. “I’ve been wrestling with theseexistentialquestions like, ‘Is what I believe simply what I was taught to believe or something I’m just accepting?’ I don’t know how to sift through it anymore. I’ve reached a place where I realize not knowing isn’t necessarilythe worst thing. It’s okay to have questions.”Elsewhere, “Stand Your Ground” provides an uplifting affirmation, while the elegantly engagingcloser “At All” leaves a lasting impression with its powerful instrumental architecturepunctuated by strings.Ultimately, you’ll feel close to every word, because of Hyslop’s innate capability to empathize.“I hope people really listen and immerse themselves in this record,” he leaves off. “It’d be great if they really spent time with the lyrics. There's a lot going on for people underneath the surface.I hope this album encourages people to be a little more patient and a little more kind."
Venue Information:
The Catalyst
1011 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
http://www.catalystclub.com/