Posts Tagged ‘The Besnard Lakes’

 

The Besnard Lakes

Canadian group The Besnard Lakes have shared new song “Our Heads, Our Hearts on Fire Again” as the second single from their first album in nearly five years, The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings.

“Our Heads, Our Hearts on Fire Again” follows October’s lead single “Raindrops”. Discussing the new release, the band says, “This song has been floating around since the Roaring Night era. We could never figure out how to finish it. Well, we figured out how to finish it. It has that 3/4 waltz we love so much, the same 3/4 waltz that “Disaster” rested upon. It’s also a bit of a lament about how sad we were when we parted ways with Jagjaguwar.”

They add, “This is the second time Oggy’s lyric “On the other side of the world” is used; here it is to detail the comparison between geography and forensics, and that human beings are detectives of time.”

When asked for some insider knowledge about the production of the video, Dr Cool had this to say:

“So the video is basically a combination of things I assumed the band is into. I noticed they once had a horse on one of their covers so I quickly learnt to draw horses. I also heard from someone that they like bright flashing neon lights so I added some of that. And then I just sorta assumed they must be into goofy looking buildings that dance around the screen so I threw some of those in and it turns out they like that quite a bit.

“I can’t explain what the video is about but I think it’s pretty obvious what’s going on.”

The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings will be their first LP since 2016’s A Coliseum Complex Museum. The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings album will arrive 29th January 2021 via Full Time Hobby

 

The Besnard Lakes have passed through death and they’re here to tell the tale. Nearly five years after their last lightning-tinted volley, the magisterial Montreal psych-rock band have sworn off compromise, split with their long-standing label, and completed a searing, 72-minute suite about the darkness of dying and the light on the other side.

The Besnard Lakes Are “The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings” is the group’s sixth album and the first in more than 15 years to be released away from a certain midwestern American indie record company. After 2016’s A Coliseum Complex Museum – which saw Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas attempting shorter, less sprawling songs – the Besnards and their label decided it was time to go their separate ways; with that decision came a question of whether to even continue the project at all. What use is a band with an instinct for long, tectonic tunes – rock songs with chthonic heft and ethereal grace, five or 10 or 18 minutes long? How do you sell that in an age of bite-sized streaming? How do you make it relevant? “Who gives a shit!” the Besnard Lakes realized. Ignited by their love for each other, for playing music together, the sextet found themselves unspooling the most uncompromising recording of their career. Despite all its grandeur, ...The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings honours the very essence of punk rock: the notion that a band need only be relevant to itself.

At last the Besnard Lakes have crafted a continuous long-form suite: nine tracks that could be listened together as one, like Spiritualized’s Lazer Guided Melodies or even Dark Side of the Moon, overflowing with melody and harmony, drone and dazzle, the group’s own unique weather.

Here now, the Besnard Lakes finally dispensed with the two/three-year album cycle, taking all the time they needed to conceive, compose, record and mix their opus. Some of its songs were old, resurrected from demos cast aside years ago. Others were literally woodshedded in the cabanon behind Lasek and Goreas’s “Rigaud Ranch” – invented and reinvented, relishing this rougher sound. Some of that distortion makes its way into the final mix: an incandescent crackle that had receded from the Besnards‘ more recent output. Rightly – nay, definitively! – The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is a double LP. “Near Death” is the title of the first side. “Death,” “After Death,” and “Life” follow next. It’s literally a journey into (and back from) the brink: the story of the Besnard Lakes’ own odyssey but also a remembrance of others’, especially the death of Lasek’s father in 2019. Being on your deathbed is perhaps the most psychedelic trip you can go on: in Lasek’s father’s case, he surfaced from a morphine dream to talk about “a window” on his blanket, with “a carpenter inside, making intricate objects.”

That experience pervades the album, catching fire on the song “Christmas Can Wait”; elsewhere the band pays tribute to the late Mark Hollis and, on “The Father of Time Wakes Up,” they mourn the death of Prince.  Here are a couple of outtakes from the video shoot for “Raindrops”. This song and video details a psychedelic flight through the mind while deep in an altered state.

The song lyrically references the death of Mark Hollis from Talk Talk (“Garden of Eden spirited”) and also describes the idea of evolution determining the story of the Garden of Eden. In these scorched and pitted times, as the world smoulders, there might be nothing less trendy than an hour-long psych-rock epic by a band of Canadian grandmasters. Then again, there might be nothing we need more. ...The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is a bright-blazing requiem: nine tunes that are one tune and six musicians who make one band – unleashed and unconstrained, piercing and technicolour.

At the end of the golden day, the Besnard Lakes are right where they should be. Just announced,

Dinked Edition No.77 is the thrilling and quite epic new LP from The Besnard Lakes + Dinked Edition No. 77
+ Double 140g orange / red splatter vinyl
+ One-sided orange flexi disc featuring exclusive track ‘Superego’
+ Hand-numbered sleeve+ Limited edition of 500


The Besnard Lakes have passed through death and they’re here to tell the tale. Nearly five years after their last lightning-tinted volley, the magisterial Montreal psych-rock band have sworn off compromise, split with their long-standing label, and completed a searing, 72-minute suite about the darkness of dying and the light on the other side.

Image of Moon Duo - Occult Architecture Vol.1

Moon Duo –   Occult Architecture Vol 1,

Meaning all things magick and supernatural, the root of the word occult is that which is hidden, concealed, beyond the limits of our minds. If this is occult, then the Occult Architecture of Moon Duo’s fourth album – a psychedelic opus in two separate volumes released in 2017 – is an intricately woven hymn to the invisible structures found in the cycle of seasons and the journey of day into night, dark into light.

Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang.

In Chinese, Yin means “the shady side of the hill” and is associated with the feminine, darkness, night, earth. Following this logic, Vol. 1 embraces and embodies Moon Duo’s darker qualities — released appropriately on February 3rd, in the heart of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

According to guitarist Ripley Johnson, “the concept of the dark/light, two-part album came as we were recording and mixing the songs, beginning in the dead of winter and continuing into the rebirth and blossoming of the spring. There’s something really powerful about the changing of the seasons in the Northwest, the physical and psychic impact it has on you, especially after we spent so many years in the seasonal void of California. I became interested in gnostic and hermetic literature around that time, especially the relationship between music and occult qualities and that fed into the whole vibe.”

Adds keyboardist Sanae Yamada, “the two parts are also intended to represent inverted components of a singular entity, like two faces on the same head which stare always in opposite directions but are inextricably driven by the same brain.”

Vol. 1 was mixed in Berlin by the band’s longtime collaborator Jonas Verwijnen.

Image of Real Estate - In Mind

Real Estate – In Mind

On In Mind, the fourth full-length record from Real Estate, the band fine-tunes the winsome songwriting and profound earnestness that made previous albums – 2009’s Real Estate, 2011’s Days, and 2014’s Atlas – so beloved. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Cole M. Greif-Neill (Julia Holter, Beck), In Mind delivers the same kind of warmth and soft-focus narratives that one has come to expect from the band – pastoral guitars, elegantly deployed arrangements, a sort of mindful melancholy – but there is also a newly adventurous sonic edge to the proceedings.

It offers a mild shifting of the gears, positing a band engaged in the push/pull of burgeoning adulthood. Reflecting a change in lineup, changes in geography, and a general desire to move forward without looking back, the record casts the band in a new light – one that replaces the wistful ennui of teenage suburbia with an equally complicated adult version.

Image of Surfer Blood - Snowdonia

Surfer Blood –  Snowdonia

Surfer Blood are one of the best young indie-rock bands around, and their fourth album, Snowdonia, is their most ambitious effort yet. Overcoming adversity, the band has artistically grown and thrived. Following the departure of bassist Kevin Williams and guitarist Thomas Fekete (tragically lost to cancer in May), singer/guitarist John Paul Pitts and drummer Tyler Schwarz have rebuilt a talented lineup with guitarist Michael McCleary and bassist Lindsey Mills, all four alumni of the same high school in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Pitts wrote specifically with the new band’s talents in mind: “When I was writing I was thinking more about background vocals and harmonies. Lindsey and Michael are great singers, and I really wanted that to show in the songs. There are layers of vocals on almost every track, and the call-and-response parts between Lindsey and I are something totally new.” Along with plenty of Surfer Blood’s signature hooks, the band concocted some epic and more complex songs with enormous attention to sonic detail. Pitts wrote and mixed the album alone, for the first time since their debut Astro Coast. The immediacy is intoxicating and the musical and lyrical results are fantastic. Surfer Blood get better and better with each album, and we’re sure they’ll be making great records for years to come

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Weyes Blood and Ariel Pink  –  Myths 002

Myths 002 brings together Natalie Mering – aka Weyes Blood  and Ariel Rosenberg – aka Ariel Pink – for the second installment in Mexican Summer’s collaboration series. Composed and captured in Marfa, Texas during the annual Myths music and arts festival, Mering and Rosenberg inspire each other’s inner pop madrigals to mythological heights for Myths 002. In the middle of March 2016, over a week-long musical residency in the desert, two weird planets went conjunct. Both bore a bright colour palette: Ariel Rosenberg (aka Ariel Pink), an underground icon known for his stylized, subversive pop, and Natalie Mering (aka Weyes Blood), bold bringer of a future cosmic folk realm. They composed and captured the EP, Myths 002. As West Coast singer-songwriters with a shared sensibility for mood, Natalie and Ariel have been collaborating artists, mutual admirers, and friends for years. Mering appeared as guest vocalist on Pink’s 2013 album Mature Themes, Pink produced the infectious Drugdealer song Suddenly featuring Mering. Mering’s third album, Front Row Seat To Earth, was released in October 2016 on Mexican Summer. The atmosphere and auras of these two pop artists assemble as new hues on Myths 002, their distinct voices inexplicably, effortlessly folding into harmony. The four songs capture musicians at play – speak-talking dramatic interludes, twisting up songs strangely before releasing them assuredly in New Romantic resolves. During the annual Marfa Myths festival, Mexican Summer and Ballroom Marfa brought these two musicians together for the second in a record series that promotes collaboration between artists within the label crew and kindred musical spirits from outside the catalog. Marfa is small town known for its remote desert locale in Texas, its arts community, and its strange heavenly lights.

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Ron Gallo  –  Heavy Meta

Heavy Meta is 11 tracks of lyrical confrontation and laughter for cynics laid down roughly on a bed of fuzz, chaotic structures and primal sounds evoked from a red Fender jaguar electric guitar – there is bass, there are drums and not much else besides the occasional icing (no artificial colours or dyes).

Image of Communions - Blue

Communions – Blue

Communions are a four-piece from Copenhagen, made up of brothers Martin and Mads Rehof, Jacob van Deurs Formann and Frederik Lind Köppen.

‘Blue’ is Communions’ debut album, following a series of singles over the last two years. ‘Blue’ makes the most of everywhere Communions have been. Through all of this the stakes have changed but the sensitivity and craft with which the band takes risks has bloomed. An eloquence now shines through and you can take it or leave it.

Discarding some of the moodiness found in their previous recordings, ‘Blue’ tells us what was always natural to Communions. It’s about love and taking chances. It’s about trying something and it still doesn’t matter if there’s apprehension.

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The Besnard Lakes  –  Are the Divine Wind

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.

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Mumford and Sons  –  Dust and Thunder

Chronicling the first meeting of South Africa with its favourite British band, Mumford and Sons, award-winning director Dick Carruthers gets to the very heart of what makes Mumford and Sons such a special act. Filmed live against the beautiful Pretorian outback, the band performs their most recent material and classic hits in front of an exhilarated crowd. Filmed in stunning 4K and mixed in 5.1 surround sound.

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Imagine dreamy Beach House riding Led Zeppelin dynamics, with unabashedly androgynous vocal harmonies. This melodic yet mountainous soundworld was sculpted at Breakglass, their own modest Paisley Park. As the longterm sporter of a Love Symbol tattoo, Prince’s pop alchemy is especially potent for Jace Lasek.

Canada’s The Besnard Lakes are releasing a brand new album, A Coliseum Complex Museum, on January 22nd via Jagjaguwar. We’ve already been treated to “Golden Lion” and “The Plain Moon.” Now “The Plain Moon” has a video. Joseph Yarmush directed the clip, which features manipulated live and studio footage of the band. Below is the video and the band’s tour dates.

The band’s Olga Goreas who premiered it: “We probably love the supernatural as much as the natural, and we’ve always been fascinated with more esoteric elements, especially with regards to capturing them visually. There are these sigils I created that are flashed in the video. Each one represents a different positive idea. I actually use them for meditation, and the notion is that you visualize them and they can be realized.”

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A Coliseum Complex Museum is the follow-up to 2013’s fantastic Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO, which received its share of critical acclaim but was still criminally underappreciated/under-heard in our opinion. The Besnard Lakes lineup is still anchored by founding members and husband and wife team Jace Lasek (guitars/vocals) and Olga Goreas (vocals/bass), along with long-term drummer Kevin Laing. For this album they are joined by Sheenah Ko (keys/vocals) and Robbie Macarthur (guitar). Previous guitarist Richard White still collaborates in the studio but no longer tours with the band.

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A limited number of deluxe pre-orders of the album come with a metal sigil handcrafted by Goreas and inspired by her father. “I made 11 sigils after my dad passed away almost four years ago,” Goreas said in a press release. “Each sigil has a particular meaning and there are 11 of them because he died in November of 2011 and numerologically speaking, 11 represents a rebuilding of sorts. In a way, our last album was about endings and this album is about beginning again.”