Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes
Book jacket design for Tomas Cizek's The Ruse
DANIEL ELLSWORTH + THE GREAT LAKES
Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes is the sound life makes when it becomes ecstasy. It is the noise childhood makes when it surrenders to itself and becomes an ecstatic life. It is somehow simultaneously sweetness, energy, softness, and seduction. A strange alchemy that comes about in a town like Nashville — where they formed in 2010. It’s a place of internal Peter Pans. But there are a rare few who can be born from Nashville’s island of youth, insanity, and silliness only to survive and age into a continent of thirty-something honesty and humanity. DE+TGL is one of those rare few. Wise Lost Boys with a conscience, but still a thirsty, boyish spark. That is Daniel Ellsworth (lead vox, keys), Timon Lance (guitar), and Marshall Skinner (bass). A silky, organic monster made from the remnants of pop swagger, sunglasses, self-aware grown-up realism, road trips, anxiety, and just plain, pounding fun.
Their first full-length album, 2011’s Civilized Man, was recorded and co-produced with Mark Nevers (Andrew Bird, Yo La Tengo, Silver Jews). Here they showed the beginnings of that stylized magic, combining intricate rhythms and challenging melodies yet never straying from pop pleasantness. Civilized Man went on to be listed in the top 100 albums of 2011 by Amazon. The single "Shoe Fits" debuted at number seven on Amazon’s top 100 songs of 2011. DE+TGL was named one of the 15 Bands to Watch by Esquire Magazine in 2014. In March of that year their sophomore album, Kid Tiger - recorded at Sputnik Sound by Vance Powell (Jack White, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs) - released to the world. Bemidji, a companion EP also recorded by Vance Powell, was released in March 2016.
Amidst some band changes, life changes and a bit of chaos - their critically acclaimed album, Fashion, released August 24th, 2018. It was released in three parts – Chapter One in winter 2018, Chapter Two in spring 2018, and the full album followed — reflecting the process by which is was crafted. It was recorded over the course of a year at Elephant Lady Studios in Nashville, Tennessee – engineered, co-produced, and mixed by indie-pop-mastermind-and-wizard-like Kyle Andrews. DE+TGL was already no stranger to building big sounds, but this album took that tendency even further. The scope, the sweep, and the height of the sonic space they could reach being stretched more and more – as if it were a scientific experiment in how captivating, euphoric, and pounding pop can be.
Cut to 2019 - a new chapter. With the band now splitting time between Nashville, Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio - DE+TGL are taking things into their own hands. Between new sounds and new cities, this year will see the release of a handful of brand new self-produced singles - starting with the pounding “Way You Are” (ft. Ruby Amanfu) - out July 12th via Color Party Records. “We’re figuring out what this era of the band is” says lead singer Daniel Ellsworth. “With three of us now, we’re shifting how we write, how we record, and feeling more free than we ever have to experiment with what those processes look like. It’s a new beginning of sorts, but it’s also just the next chapter in the ever-changing landscape of this band. We hope you’ll come along for the ride.”