Great Lake Swimmers

The Legion Sessions

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Originally released in 2009 as digital EP (and reissued several months later in conjunction with Record Store Day 2010), The Legion Sessions takes its set list from a live performance at the Royal Canadian Legion Pub. At the time of its recording, Great Lake Swimmers had just put the finishing touches on Lost Channels, and they booked the Legion Pub to road-test the material in front of a small audience. The result is a “warts and all” album, at times more reminiscent of a bootleg than a polished concert recording, with moments of hesitation bumping their heads against inspired performances. The bandmates are obviously new to the material, and the songs sound a bit dry without Andy Magoffin’s reverb-heavy production. Even so, the wistful, panoramic appeal of Lost Channels comes through loud and clear on these tracks, particularly “Everything Is Moving So Fast” and the heartrending “Still.” Only “River’s Edge” and “Unison Falling into Harmony” are missing from the bunch, and those that do make the cut are rough around the edges in an earnest, organic way that recalls the band's influences. The Legion Sessions may be imperfect, but it’s nice to hear the Swimmers get their sea legs in concert.

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