The sounds of travel 1: Great Lake Swimmers

Welcome to The Sounds of Travel, music that reminds of you travel, the places you’ve been and the things that you’ve seen. We’ve all got that favorite road trip song or mix tape that brings us back to the open road, to the hills of Patagonia or to the rolling waves of the Mediterranean. Listening to these pieces back at home brings us vividly back to that same spot, years later, daydreaming about the beauty of travel, the wonderful landscapes and the luster of freedom.

Here at Gadling we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite sounds from the road and giving you a sample of each — maybe you’ll find the same inspiration that we did, but at the very least, hopefully you’ll think that they’re good songs.

Week One: Great Lake Swimmers — Backstage with the Modern Dancers

Great Lake Swimmers’ third album, Ongiara, had just been released the week before I touched down in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a week long trip with a few close friends. On the bus from the airport into the city, I happened to meet a young Canadian woman en route to her hostel. Knowing that we had a large apartment already booked I invited her to join us and with little deliberation she ended up staying with us for the entire week.

Architecture in Buenos Aires is shockingly beautiful, with narrow cobble stone streets lined with tall ceilinged, ornate buildings on either side. Apart from the exquisite ironwork and stained glass featured on many structures, you could pick up many blocks from Paris, drop them in Buenos Aires and not know the difference.

Our apartment was no exception. With tall ceilings, a broad front room that opened out into the street, an entire wall of stained glass and three bedrooms, the unit was not only one of the best but also one of the least expensive properties that I have ever stayed in.

Throughout my visit I began to explore the depths of Ongiara. At times when the others were napping, out finding groceries or buying antiques, the haunting voice of Tony Dekker filled the tall corners of the rooms, echoing through the hallways and shimmering through the bedrooms.

Now, when I hear Backstage with the Moden Dancers I’m taken back to Buenos Aires, to the young woman I met on the bus and to perching out over the apartment ironwork, peering onto the street as the fall rain blanketed around us. I see the yellows and blues of the stained glass windows, feel the black fabric on her shirt and taste the Malbec that I drank every night for dinner.

And all of these things I don’t think they should be — released” — Tony Dekker, Great Lake Swimmers.