The Great Lake Swimmers are a Canadian folk-rock band led by singer-songwriter Tony Dekker. Their fifth album, entitled “New Wild Everywhere,” is a job well done.

In the past, the band had recorded its records in some odd places. Their fourth album, “Lost Channels,” was recorded on an archipelago between the U.S and Canada.

For “New Wild Everywhere” they decided to move into the studio, a decision that almost certainly contributed to the quality of the music. Like most of their work, this album has heavy themes of nature and our interaction with it (without feeling preachy). “Ballad of a Fisherman’s Wife” is a song dedicated to those affected by the BP oil spill, while “Easy Come Easy Go” feels like a nod to The Eagles and other bands of that era.

The musicianship showcased on “New Wild Everywhere” is definitely another good reason to give it a listen. Miranda Mulholland’s violin is clear, strong and effortlessly melodic. When paired with Dekker’s ethereal voice, the combination is inspiring.

My only complaint about the album is that the guitar work is less interesting than it could be. There is something lacking and the album could have been even more impressive if they had given Erik Arnesen a few more seconds on each track. He does shine on the banjo though, an oft-overlooked instrument even within the genre.

“New Wild Everywhere” straddles a number of genres: In one moment country twang pervades the song, and in the next we’re back to the almost muted softness that the band is known for. They took a risk in recording at a studio. Being used to having to brave the weather and the land just to crank out a tune, the studio must have been overwhelming for them. The restraint that comes across in their music shows discipline and a loyalty to their style that is rare these days. They couldn’t stay in the studio for the whole record though, so in true Great Lake Swimmers style, they headed to a subway station for one of their tracks. There they recorded “The Great Exhale.” They had to wait until the wee hours of the morning for trains to stop so they could play, and the area was wet and cold, but somehow the track comes across well put-together.

It takes a special kind of talent and group cohesion to consistently produce good music even while fighting the elements, and their material after working in a studio has not only improved but also matured.  Hopefully the Great Lake Swimmers will grow even more popular here in the United States; they’ve been a secret for too long.