The Besnard Lakes
About The Besnard Lakes
The Besnard Lakes raise immediate comparisons to the Arcade Fire, but those are primarily due to accidents of geography and band chemistry: like the Arcade Fire, the Besnard Lakes are from Montreal and led by a married couple. That's largely where the similarities end, because if this Quebecois collective resembles any of its Canadian counterparts, it would be as an unexpectedly effective combination of the Dears' psychedelic pop hooks and the languid space rock ambience of early Broken Social Scene. Also, like each of those acts, the Besnard Lakes enjoyed a long career, releasing six albums in their first two decades.
The aforementioned married couple, singer and guitarist Jace Lasek and singer and bassist Olga Goreas, formed the Besnard Lakes in 2001 as a sideline to Lasek's day job as an in-demand producer at the Montreal recording studio he and Goreas own, Breakglass Studios. (Lasek has produced and engineered records by Wolf Parade, the Dears, Stars, and many other Canadian indie acts.) The band was originally a full-time project, but before it could record its debut album, the other members of the band left. Undaunted, Lasek and Goreas recorded nearly all of 2003's Besnard Lakes, Vol.1 on their own during down time at the studio, then self-released the result. Following the album's glowing reviews, a touring lineup eventually solidified with guitarists Steve Raegele and Jeremiah Bullied, and drummer Kevin Laing. During sessions for the band's second album, Bullied was replaced by Richard White and keyboardist and arranger Nicole Lizée joined the band. Signing to the venerable dream pop indie label Jagjaguwar, the Besnard Lakes released their second album, The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse, in February 2007 and followed it up with The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night in March 2010. 2011 saw the band embark on a couple of different soundtracking projects, including the recording of music for both Mark Ruffalo's Sympathy for Delicious and a multimedia documentary entitled Welcome to Pine Point. During that same year, they began sessions for what would eventually become 2013's Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO, which was longlisted for that year's prestigious Polaris Music Prize.
In 2014, White decided to stop touring with the band, but continued to appear on subsequent studio recordings. To bolster the line-up, guitarist Robbie MacArthur was brought in, as well as Sheenah Ko who permanently replaced Lizée on keyboards. A Coliseum Complex Museum, the group's fifth studio long-player, followed in early 2016, with an EP, The Besnard Lakes Are the Divine Wind, arriving in early 2017. The loss of Lacek's father led to a mini-hiatus, but also inspired the themes of a sprawling double-album, The Besnard Lakes Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings. This became their first full-length release for Full Time Hobby, but was preceded by the single "Raindrops," which saw light of day in October 2020.~ Stewart Mason
ORIGINMontreal, Quebec, Canada