Great Lake Swimmers have released a new holiday EP titled They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore. It consists of two original songs, “They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore” and “Ink For A Star” and two classic Christmas covers, “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” and a 17th century yuletide carol, “Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella.”

Singer/songwriter Tony Dekker shares some thoughts about each song:

‘They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore’
This time of year my thoughts go to the Township of Wainfleet, Ontario, and my large family of nieces, nephews, siblings, aunts, and uncles. ‘They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore’ might be a nostalgia-tinged song about the days before thoughtless consumerism, but it might also be about the memory of those we’ve lost over the years and remember in our big family gatherings. Recorded during a tour stop in Sackville, New Brunswick at Thunder & Lightning by James Anderson, we were lucky that Julie Doiron happened to be home to join us with some sweet harmonies.

‘Ink For A Star’
The holidays in Canada are made up of incredibly powerful images which for many of us include the deep freeze and snow. Winter can be a great time to get outside and enjoy the season, but it can be even better to watch it unfold from the warmth and hearth of a rural home. ‘Ink For A Star’ is a winter word collage of things remembered from Canadian winters as a child.

‘It Came Upon A Midnight Clear’
‘It Came Upon A Midnight Clear’ is one of the darker holiday songs in the canon, and it’s timely to take a closer look at its lyrics. Melancholic and inspired by times of war, it notes the suffering world and ‘two thousand years of wrong’ while imploring us to consider peace. The verses adapted for this version were meant to highlight that, and it is a good reminder that there are other routes to peaceful resolutions than conflict and war. It was recorded at the House Of Miracles with Andy Magoffin.

‘Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella’
One of the oldest carols we know of is ‘Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella’ which dates back to 17th century France. Originally titled ‘Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle’ it was later translated into English, and with its strong melody we were surprised that it hasn’t had more of a mainstream presence in our native Ontario. Here we present our minimal, acoustic-strummed version that we hope will find its way into your heart.

They Don’t Make Them Like that Anymore is available now worldwide on iTunes and Spotify via Nettwerk.

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