The Great Lake Swimmers are currently working on a new album.

The Great Lake Swimmers are currently working on a new album.

‘I wanted to breathe new life into these songs’

Great Lake Swimmers set to share old favourites and new tunes at Spiritbar.

The Great Lake Swimmers are hoping to road-test some new songs and reanimate some old ones when they come to Nelson on July 23.

The indie-folk band, who will be performing at Spiritbar, last performed in Nelson in 2012. Frontman Tony Dekker said he’s thrilled to be returning to the Kootenay as part of their late summer western tour, which includes performing in Vancouver’s Folk Fest. But one of the things he’s most looking forward to is standing on the side of the highway, gawking at the majesty of the surrounding scenery.

“I’m particularly looking forward to the west coast tour because I find the mountains, especially this time of year, are hugely inspiring,” he said. “It’s almost too much awesome.”

He considers these sorts of experiences creative fuel, and part of his exploration process includes delving into the non-material world.

“There’s a theme in our work about looking for a kind of spirituality,” said Dekker. “But it’s not the typical idea of religion and spirituality. There’s no dogma attached to it.”

Instead, Dekker evinces a deep reverence for his natural surroundings.

“I think it’s important to be close to the natural world. It’s about being away from people and spending that solitary time in the woods, essentially.”

The result of this creative process is an ethereal, mellow folk sound that has won them accolades and awards. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be moments of high energy during their upcoming concert.

“We do step it up on a few songs,” said Dekker. “We’ve got this song I’m Part Of A Large Family. We’ve been using it as a closer later, a more upbeat version of that song. People always want Your Rocky Spine too, so we’ve played a little bit with that one as well.”

Dekker said the audience seems thrilled by these re-imaginings of familiar tunes.

“I wanted to breathe new life into those songs,” said Dekker. “We’ve reanimated them, basically.”

He likes to think of his recorded music and his live performances as separate, and he constantly tweaks and perfects his compositions, even after they’ve been released.

Dekker is currently hard at work with his bandmates on their next album, which doesn’t yet have a working title.

“If all goes well we may have something to release this fall,” said Dekker. “And then we’ll have a new EP or single by early 2015.”

Tickets are $20 and are available from the Hume Hotel. For more information visit