“A wonderful atmosphere – minimalist well done” – New York Times
“Ambient Zen Americana” – Mojo Magazine
“Spiritual folk of the most affecting variety” – Stylus
“Tony Dekker takes acoustics very seriously. His haunting, somber ballads emit an otherworldly quality, due in no small part to the natural environment in which they’re captured ƒ Natural reverb and folkie arrangements complement Dekker’s soft voice perfectly” – Rob Bolton, Exclaim!
“Just when it seems like it can’t possible get more beautiful, the next song sets the bar even higher and it becomes an overload of pure awesome. Ongiara is slow and spare, yet amazingly rich and varied… Decidedly country in flavour but not in overall tone… Dekker weaves lyrical tales that are as ethereal as his shimmering songs, open to interpretation while bearing a straightforward foundation.” – Chart, March 2007
“Toronto’s Great Lake Swimmers continue to hone a remarkably haunting, heartfelt folk-pop sound, mixing ambient textures with skilful instrumental interplay. Tony Dekker’s voice is still the band’s most captivating presence, capable of turning the seemingly mundane observations of ‘Backstage with the Modern Dancers’ into a harrowingly mournful tale. That deceptively simple song demonstrates that Dekker’s gifts as a vocalist are matched by his direct yet multi-layered lyricism – a romantic ode to our geography emerges in ‘Your Rocky Spine,’ while ‘There is a Light’ is a delicate protest song whose pointed wordplay is tempered by a dreamy arrangement. As a trio rounded out by inventive multi-instrumentalists Erik Arnesen and Colin Huebert, the group sounds rather lush here; recording in a hall with natural reverb and calling in talents like Sarah Harmer and Owen Pallett surely affects the sound. The Swimmers exude confidence and conviction on Ongiara, an understated masterpiece.” – Vish Khanna, eye weekly, 22 March 2007