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Siskiyou - Siskiyou

Constellation - 2010

Michael Panontin
A stint on an organic farm was all it took for ex-Great Lake Swimmer Colin Huebert to make that move from the Swimmers' Toronto base to the more organic climes of Vancouver. Once settled there, he teamed up with current Swimmer Erik Arnesen, and as Siskiyou the pair took to layering banjo, piano, accordion and electric guitar atop Huebert's home recordings of simple voice and guitar, the results of which would become this shimmering twelve-song debut.

Those familiar with the Swimmers' bucolic folk/country-tinged songs will know what to expect of Siskiyou. The fragile intimacy of their former band survives intact, but as Siskiyou they take that to sparser, more hushed corners, especially on the haunting reworking of Woody Guthrie's 'This Land', surely the high point on the record. And while some tracks can be terse and to the point, with almost half clocking in at under two minutes, the glacial 'Big Sur' stretches things to a near-perfect seven minutes plus of acoustic guitar and banjo, woven together so beautifully you'll sit there transfixed long after it's through.



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