A Forest Of Arms is the sixth album from Tony Dekker’s Great Lake Swimmers and the follow up to 2012’s New Wild Everywhere. With a surging rhythm section, razor sharp violin, and flourishing banjo and guitars, Dekker and band mates have pushed their sound, creating some of their most dynamic songs. In their decade-long career, they’ve explored thematic threads of beauty in the natural world, environmental issues and explorations of close personal ties. The familiar versus the strange theme runs through the album.
As with past Great Lake Swimmers albums, A Forest Of Arms was recorded in several unique and unusual locations, including Tyendinaga Cavern and Caves in Tyendinaga, Ontario, where a number of the vocal and acoustic guitar tracks were recorded amid haunting acoustics, stalactites, and circling bats.
The violins were recorded at Toronto’s Heliconian Club, while the bass and drum tracks were largely recorded outside the city at a unique chalet-style recording space located on 40 acres of rolling hills and trails, in proximity to the shores of Lake Ontario. The pastoral and elemental nature of these spaces surfaces throughout the album.