MUSIC

The-Besnard-Lakes-1480433410-300x300

The Besnard Lakes Are The Divine Wind EP (2017)

Early in 2016, The Besnard Lakes released their finest album to date, the magisterial A Coliseum Complex Museum and toured worldwide throughout the following months. Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, the couple at the heart of the band, had spent the previous summer on their annual retreat to their namesake Besnard Lake. In a place with so much personal significance, they spent time writing the music that was to form the album. Culling the tracks down to an album proved a difficult task and inevitably there were tracks they loved that just didn’t quite fit with the overall album.

So it is with delight that almost exactly a year on, the band are able to release this 12″ of two brand new, exclusive tracks written and recorded at the same time as the album. “Laura Lee” is a sibling track to the album’s illustrious first single, “The Golden Lion” – spacious reverb-y drums echo around an almost sci-fi vocal line sung by Olga Goreas. Meanwhile, the title track “The Divine Wind” is the Besnard Lakes at their expansive, psychedelic best: a sustained keyboard building through to a bombastic coda, complete with Lasek’s unmistakable falsetto.

If you ever needed a reminder of just how unique, beautiful and far-reaching this band is, then The Besnard Lakes Are the Divine Wind delivers.

Produced by The Besnard Lakes | Released on Jagjaguwar/Outside Music | Artwork by Todd Stewart

jag275

The Golden Lion EP (2015)

A three-song EP in advance of the album A Coliseum Complex Museum.  While it remains to be seen whether this is simply an artistic ‘excursion’ or a representative taste of things to come, one thing is for certain:  The Besnard Lakes are not now, nor have they ever been a ‘singles’ band.  Their strength has always been with the ‘Long Play’ format, where their individual songs are able to thrive in the context of the greater work.

The Golden Lion EP largely eschews anything resembling ‘grand’, with its three songs embracing a catchier flair than almost anything from their last two releases (the previously mentioned …Roaring Night, and the criminally under-appreciated 2013 release, Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO).

“The Golden Lion”, “The Motorway”, and “In The Forest” each has a warm, melodic foundation and dutifully plod along at a calm, mid-tempo pace.  And this, in and of itself, is by no means a bad thing, but one can’t help but wonder how these songs would sound in the middle of a full-length album; where they would perhaps function as a melodic breath of fresh air amid a denser backdrop.

The intention of any E.P. is almost always to garner/maintain interest in between ‘full-lengths’, and in that regard, The Golden Lion is a success, (albeit somewhat by default, as it leaves one desperately wanting ‘more’ of, well, just about everything that has come to define the Besnard Lakes).  But based on past releases, one has to assume that the three songs presented here are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, representing the first brush strokes of a much larger painting.  We will all just have to wait and see.

-Soundblab

Produced by The Besnard Lakes | Released on Jagjaguwar/Outside Music | Artwork by Todd Stewart

jag276

A Coliseum Complex Museum (2015)

Unique among their furrowed brow peers, The Besnard Lakes are unafraid to marry textured, questing headphone sonics to the honeyed pleasure of radio hits past: the rapture of My Bloody Valentine entwined with the romance of Fleetwood Mac. Imagine dreamy Beach House riding Led Zeppelin dynamics, with unabashedly androgynous vocal harmonies. Channelling their obsessions with the paranormal as well as the dark arts, A Coliseum Complex Museum is populated by cryptozoological creatures (The Bray Road Beast, Golden Lion) while also luxuriating in natural phenomena and beauty (The Plain Moon, Nightingale). These themes are sincere yet good-humoured. The LP’s title jokily refers to a landmark-heavy road sign spotted on tour in Texas, the varied emotional impulses within reflected by its environmentally warped artwork.

Produced by The Besnard Lakes | Released on Jagjaguwar/Outside Music | Artwork by Christopher Campbell Gardiner

umojacketv1Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO (2013)

This album had its humble beginnings in mid-2011 and was completed over the course of a year. Ever mindful and attentive to the most subtle and nuanced details, founding band members Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas produced, recorded and mixed at the stalwart Breakglass Studios in Montreal with long time band mates Kevin Laing and Richard White. Eventually mastered by the renowned Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, this fourth album by The Besnard Lakes’ features heavyweight additions by Moonface’s Spencer Krug and Mike Bigelow, The Barr Brothers’ Sarah Page, the always-enchanting Monica Guenter and the return of Fifth String Liberation Singers’ Choir. The story of the album unfolds its introspection on the endurance of the human spirit during prophetic times as told by a spy or two, maybe more. Each of the eight tracks on the album takes off, coasts, and lands smoothly, with a jubilant slowburn of its own momentum for the benefit of the larger picture. The Besnard Lakes create a distinct and dreamy headspace, an enigmatic and somehow familiar placelessness. It happens in such a way that both the close and casual listener find themselves immersed in the generous sonic vision, one moment as timeless as the next.

Produced by The Besnard Lakes | Released on Jagjaguwar/Outside Music | Artwork by Corri-Lynn Tetz

You Lived in the City EP (2011)

Welcome to Pine Point is a multimedia documentary that combines video footage, artwork, photographs and music on a web interface. Pine Point is a Canadian mining town that existed for one generation and was closed and wiped off the map after the mine closed. The documentary serves as an album to the town’s memory. Co-director Michael Simons, a longtime friend of The Besnard Lakes’ Jace Lasek, told the band about the project and asked if the band would be interested in providing some music for it. He asked if the band would cover “We’re Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time)” by Canadian rock band Trooper. The songs The Besnard Lakes contributed to Welcome to Pine Point will be available via 12″ EP available at their upcoming tour dates and by mail order at SC Distribution. “The Corner” is one of two songs written for the end credits of the film “Memories Corner”. This is the song that wasn’t chosen. Also a Besnard Lakes rarity, this song is available for the first and only time on You Lived in the City.

Produced by The Besnard Lakes | Released on Jagjaguwar/Outside Music | Artwork by Todd Stewart

 ...Are The Roaring Night

The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night (2010)

There is a war now. The message has been sent through short wave in code. The Besnard Lakes twisting chronicle, or fever dream, of spies, double agents, novelists and aspiring rock gods has turned violent. Loyalty, dishonor, love, hatred all seen through the eyes of two spies, fighting a war that may not be real. One follows the other as they receive coded messages and spread destruction. The city is burning, and it’s to the benefit of music obsessives everywhere. Once again, the husband-and-wife duo of Olga Goreas and Jace Lasek has crafted a majestic, sprawling vision of guitar bombast and captivating pop experiments.

Produced by The Besnard Lakes | Released on Jagjaguwar/Outside Music | Artwork by Corri-Lynn Tetz

Albatross (EP)

Albatross (EP) (2010)

A standout track and the first single from Montreal’s The Besnard Lakes’ upcoming longplayer, The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night, “Albatross” has all the swagger of a Stevie Nicks-led Fleetwood Mac classic or Roy Orbison reimagined as a rollicking, snakeskin-booted Mazzy Star — dousing it all in gas and throwing the match as we hear its tale of Vancouver’s skid row and its inhabitants. On the flip we find “Four Long Lines,” a non-album cut that not so much exists within the dark grooves of the vinyl as it does float just above the stereo, embodying the extraterrestrial encounter the song cryptically details. “Saw an alien/On the street/At dawn…Saw Aliens/In the sky/Called out to them, ” breathes Jace Lasek’s otherworldly falsetto, which stays just beyond definition skating on top of what could be a basement-tape lost cut from Eno’s Another Green World.

Produced by The Besnard Lakes | Released on Jagjaguwar/Outside Music | Artwork by Todd Stewart

Casino Nanaimo (EP)

Casino Nanaimo (EP) (2007)

On the heels of “The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse”, The Besnard Lakes continue what they’ve started, re-stoking the flames and releasing two additional tracks, as embodied on a 12-inch vinyl single. Side A is “Casino Nanaimo”, a place where repetitive sound and lights engulf addicted gamblers all vying for space on the eternal wheel of fortune. And then there is side B, “Devastation (alternate version)”, the unedited and original straight-to-two-track nine-minute version, recorded live-off-the-floor at Breakglass Studios.

Produced by The Besnard Lakes | Released on Jagjaguwar/Outside Music | Artwork by Todd Stewart

...Are The Dark Horse

The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse (2007)

The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse is a luxurious foray into sound and music. The Besnard Lakes have shown that they are masters of finely-honed experimental pop songs that invoke the eerie Lynchian setting as aided and abetted by the music of Julee Cruise. On The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse, the band throws into the mix a mad dash of Fleetwood Mac proportioned swagger and ambition. Not so incidentally, the Besnard Lakes have created a masterpiece that will resonate within all quarters, amongst critics, casual and not-so-casual rock listeners, garden variety pop fans and headphone junkies.

Produced by The Besnard Lakes | Released on Jagjaguwar/Outside Music | Artwork by Corri-Lynn Tetz

Volume 1Volume 1 (2003)

Volume I” is the debut album by the Besnard Lakes, that preceded their recent opus “The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse” which was released on Jagjaguwar in early 2007. “Volume I” was originally released in 2004, and, at the time, The Besnard Lakes were comprised only of husband-and-wife team Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas. The Besnard Lakes have just recently become critical darlings, on the strength of their live performances throughout North America and Europe, as well as with their second full-length record “The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse”, which quickly made it onto numerous and budding best-albums-of-the-year short-lists by a whole range of music-listening pedigree — critics, casual and not-so-casual rock listeners, garden variety pop fans, and headphone junkies. Carrying the Breakglass label name, “Volume I” is distributed throughout the world with the help of Jagjaguwar.

Produced by The Besnard Lakes | Released on Breakglass Records | Artwork by Jace Lasek

BACK TO TOP