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I don’t know a great deal about Canada’s Great Lake Swimmers, aside from vague snippets I’ve read round the blogs these past couple of years, but I do know that my first taste of them was ‘Your Rocky Spine’ (download from my previous post here) and it compelled me to find out more. I’m yet to hear a full album (I’m working on it!) but I’ve been swooning over these two live tracks this past week or so. ‘Moving Pictures, Silent Films’ from their self-titled debut is particularly gorgeous, understated and world weary and melancholy, so, you know, right up my alley! I love the chorus

Where have you been and what have you done?
I’ve been under the ground
eating prayers from this old book I found,
under the ground.
Saving it up and spending it all
on moving pictures, silent films,
moving pictures, silent films

and the hints of pedal steel, the little drum shuffles halfway through, the barely-there banjo at the end. Lovely.

Moving Pictures, Silent Films (Live) – Great Lake Swimmers

Visit Cause=Time to check out the rest of this live Toronto show in June 2008.

‘Pulling On A Line’ is from the 2009 release Lost Channels, an album which gained them a much wider fanbase, and one which I plan to add to my collection very soon. Though it’s more upbeat in tempo at least, the hints of melancholy remain and for me, it was an instant favourite.

Pulling On A Line (Live)

Image: Scene from The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, a silent film from the 1920’s. More info can be found here.

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