Only the sound of egg shakers and the low light from slender incandescent light bulbs filled the room as the Great Lake Swimmers took the stage during a powerful performance Monday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. It was a night filled with peaceful yet powerful songs.
Philip Price and Flora Reed, of Winterpills, opened the night with some dreamy folk-pop tunes. They had a very hippie vibe to them and seemed like a band that would have fit in well at Woodstock. Normally, Winterpills are a 5-piece band, but these two worked very well as a duo. There’s something special about them.
Great Lake Swimmers have a powerful yet calming folk-rock sound. One of my favorite things about their music is the addition of a violin because violins tell emotion very easily. The graceful strokes of Miranda Mulholland on her violin accentuates both the swell of the music in a louder, more emotive song as well as the quietest of tunes where the room is just about silent except for the hum of the violin, very nicely. Tony Dekker has a very raw folk twang to his voice when he sings that has a light tremble to it making any song sound vulnerable and moving.
Their set consisted mostly of songs off their new album, A Forest of Arms, including “One More Charge at the Red Cape,” “Don’t Leave me Hanging,” and “I Must Have Someone Else’s Blues.” My favorite of the night had to be, what they call their title track, “The Great Bear.” Dekker explains that it’s about a time when he took a trip up the British Columbia to The Great Bear Rainforest and that’s when he truly saw how awful it would be to construct a pipeline up there. Something about the song makes you feel like you’re in nature and you come to realize how important nature is. It’s a beautifully moving piece that is about a situation not usually written about in song, but that should be more often.
Article: Merissa Blitz