The Besnard Lakes
THE BESNARD LAKES
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.
The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night calls upon the influence of ELO and finer parts of the Alan Parsons Project in its orchestration. Still helped by the Ghost of Beach Boys Past, the album is more Dennis Wilson than Brian, and more Peter Green Fleetwood Mac than Lindsay Buckingham. That said, standout track "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.
The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night was tracked and recorded on Breakglass Studio's latest acquisition, a 1968 Neve germanium mixing console rumored to have been used to record portions of Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti. The album also introduces some new instrumentation for the band: 12 string guitar, flute, omnichord and mellotron. With the aid of Besnard members Kevin Laing on drums and Richard White on guitar, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night is a dense, ambitious recording, experimenting, as always, with the studio as instrument.
The album is a dark bliss-out that folds the eerie guitar epics of the Montreal band's breakthrough into a wall of affected drones and atmospherics, but with a toughened immediacy and grit that gives the form a much-needed shove over the cliffs, making for a haunting, provocative swan dive into the crushing tide.
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Jimmy Fallon appearance
Malajube is a Canadian pop-rock quintet that in 2004 quietly impressed hungry listeners with their debut record Le Compte Complet and more recently has drawn a wide amount of praise for their second album Trompe-l'Oeil, springing out of the already artistically rich local music scene, with their unique and original sound.
Le Compte Complet was released in November '04 on the independent label Dare To Care Records and was recorded at Ground Zero studio by Martin Pelland from The Dears. This record originally propelled their sounds into Quebec's musical universe, many songs charting in all the region's college and university radio stations and on Musique Plus.
In 2005, Julien Mineau (vocals, guitars), Francis Mineau (drums), Thomas Augustin (keyboards, vocals) and Mathieu Cournoyer (bass) entered the studio to record Le Compte Complet's follow-up. Still on the Dare To Care imprint but now recorded at Breakglass and Beat Box studios in Montreal by Ryan Battistuzzi, Trompe-l'Oeil sees the band collaborating with the likes of Pierre Lapointe (singing on "Montréal -40C"), Loco Locass (on "La Russe"), and members of Les Trois Accords and The Dears. Fans of the band's performances of the last two years will recognize some of the included songs, but Trompe-l'Oeil is an additionally "improved" Malajube. The new album captures and energizes elaborate, carefully crafted, catchy, and melodic tracks such as "Casse Cou," "La Monogamie," and the standout single "Montréal - 40C." In spring 2006, Malajube recruited new member Renaud Bastien (guitar, keyboards), right before the French release of Le Compte Complet, on the Ladilafé label.
Now pushing 22,000 sales in Canada (and still counting), Trompe-l'Oeil has earned Malajube a Félix award at l'ADISQ for Revelation of the year, two Félix awards at l'Autre Gala ADISQ, for alternative album of the year and album cover. In September, the group was one of the ten finalists in nomination for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize, which is a 20,000$ cash prize handed out to a Canadian group/artist, chosen by several music journalists from across the country. They also won the awards for artist of the year and and Best Alternative Rock album at the first edition of the GAMIQ (Gala de l'Alternative Musicale Indépendante du Québec), the Rising Star and Nova Awards at the last MIMI (Montreal Independant Music Initiative) Gala in Montreal as well as a nomination for the Prix Echo de la Chanson, presented by the SOCAN, for "La Monogamie."
Malajube has extensively toured the country and abroad playing festivals and events such as the CMJ Music Marathon, Osheaga and Les Eurokéenes, turning on industry-heads and listeners alike. Regardless of the language barrier, Trompe-l'Oeil was released in the U.S. (October 31st, 2006) and is already pleasing the critics of Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan, Wired, Fader, Filter, Spin, Penthouse, Men's Health Journal, Vanity Fair and more.
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