Sound Tracks: "The Legion Sessions" by Great Lake Swimmers
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Sound Tracks: “The Legion Sessions” by Great Lake Swimmers

Believe it or not, music videos still exist. Sound Tracks trolls the internet to find the best and the worst of local artists’ new singles and the good, bad, or otherwise noteworthy visuals that accompany them.

More often than not, bands now forgo the traditional production elements of music videos and instead make use of friends and bandwidth and create performance-based or experimental art-film dabbles primarily for internet viewing. The Great Lake Swimmers still do both, but most recently they’ve released nine live-performance videos to accompany their digital-only Legion Sessions recording that was released in September. The videos have appeared online sporadically since early this year, but all of them now are available as hidden, full-quality treasures on a mouse-rollover palm map on the band’s website; after you uncover the corresponding map pin, each video pops up with full lyrics, and most of them have an option to purchase the song or video. Find all nine and your diligence (plus copious free time?) is rewarded with a free download of an unreleased Great Lake Swimmers track. They really care!
Shot in February in a local Royal Canadian Legion pub by local hotshit music videographer and director Scott Cudmore, videographer Michael Leblanc, and with sound production by Holy Fuck’s Graham Walsh, the videos look and sound predictably great. Stark, moody lighting, sharp HD quality, and of course the dated, telling, depressing wood panelling of an old Legion, it’s the perfect setting for the quiet pain of Tony Dekker and co. These songs are already well worn and loved; they all appeared on the Polaris short-listed Lost Channels, which recently topped Exclaim! magazine’s top-ten folk list for 2009. Look for the Great Lake Swimmers to return to Toronto (from China!) and probably not hang out in legions in February.
All of the videos can be unearthed and watched via the Legion Sessions Palm Map.