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The Besnard Lakes Are The Divine WindEarly 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. They'll be on tour on the west coast of North America in December and worldwide throughout 2017.1. Laura Lee
2. The Divine Wind$13.9912'' Vinyl Single - Sealed Buy Now
The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark HorseRich with Beach Boys style harmonies, Roy Orbison reverbs and orchestra, Pink Floyd's pacing and Freddie Mercury's falsetto, the second record by Montreal's Besnard Lakes is a luxurious foray into sound and music. They're masters of finely-honed experimental pop songs that invoke the eerie Lynchian setting as aided and abetted by the music of Julee Cruise, but on this record, the band throws into the mix a mad dash of Fleetwood Mac proportioned swagger and ambition.1.Disaster
2.For Agent 13
3.And You Lied To Me
6.Rides The Rails
7.On Bedford And Grand
8.Cedric's War$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring NightWith 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 calls upon the influence of ELO and finer parts of the Alan Parsons Project in its orchestration. Still inspired by the Ghost of Beach Boys Past, the album is more Dennis Wilson than Brian, and more Peter Green Fleetwood Mac than Lindsay Buckingham. 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.1. Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt. 1: The Ocean
2. Like the Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt. 2: The Innocent
3. Chicago Train
5. Glass Printer
6. Land Of Living Skies Pt.1: The Land
7. Land Of Living Skies Pt. 2: The Living Skies
8. And This Is What We Call Progress
9. Light Up The Night
10. The Lonely Moan$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Casino NanaimoThis 12-inch comes on the heels of The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse. Casino Nanaimo is a place where repetitive sound and lights engulf addicted gamblers all vying for space on the eternal wheel of fortune. Devastation (alternate version), is the unedited and original straight-to-two-track nine-minute version, recorded live off the floor at Breakglass Studios.1.Casino Nanaimo
2.Devastation - (alternate take)$11.9912'' Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFOThe Besnard Lakes' Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO 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.1. 46 Satires
2. And Her Eyes Were Painted Gold
3. People of the Sticks
4. The Specter
5. At Midnight
7. Colour Yr Lights In
8. Alamogordo$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Burnt Black CarsSaskatoon's Slow Down Molasses is a five-piece indie-rock collective described as "the Broken Social Scene of the
prairies" by Exclaim! Magazine. Taking cues from the wide-open spaces of their home, they craft expansive, texture heavy pop songs that break into storm squalls of drone, delay and feedback. For new record 'Burnt Black Cars', they have turned to producer Jace Lasek (SUUNS, Besnard Lakes).1. Sovereigns
2. Burnt Black Cars
3. Summer Sun
4. Stay Still
5. Resurrection Blues
6. City Sublet
7. Don't Forget The Youth
9. Underneath The Cobblestones$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Montreal's Suuns possess a rare trait in rock music: restraint. They use it like an instrument, which makes their debut full-length Zeroes QC as unsettling as it is wonderfully exasperating.
Last year, Suuns entered Breakglass Studios with Jace Lasek of the Besnard Lakes co-producing and engineering, and recorded their first album. The group wanted to create something that couldn't be pigeonholed as simply indie rock. Jace definitely had a huge impact for bringing to life the big sound of the band and being open and willing stretch out any idea we or he had, Ben explains.
The resulting Zeroes QC is a warm yet dark, propulsive collusion of pop, post-punk and experimental rock one that allows the group to musically shapeshift without losing any of the sense of tension and unease that runs throughout the record. Most impressive, though, is how Suuns effortlessly sculpt memorable pop songs from experimental building blocks, frequently using noise and space as actual hooks. All of this amounts to a great first album, one that is as timeless as it is thrillingly modern.1. Armed For Peace
4. Pie IX
6. Sweet Nothing
7. Up Past The Nursery
10. Organ Blues$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
FainRecorded in a beautiful and isolated house in the Yorkshire Dales, Fain is the sound of a band at the peak of their creative powers. It's an honest and natural album that allows its stories, its melodies, its themes and structures to breathe. The album draws on more traditional English and Scottish folk melodies than anything they've done before, but not straying from the drop-out fuzz-rock route they've made their own, the influences are vast - British rock bands like Groundhogs, Dark, Mighty Baby and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac are evident in the swirling and distorted guitars throughout Fain, along with the 60s revival folk of Fairport Convention, Nic Jones, and Trees. Additionally they have looked towards Scandinavian's rich psychedelic tradition both new and old - you can hear the likes of Mecki Mark Men, Mikael Ramel and contemporaries Dungen. You can even hear the band's teenage forays into Hip-Hop in the drums of 'Thief' and 'Athol'.
It rained constantly throughout the recording process and the house was so packed with gear and recording equipment the band were forced to sleep in tents and caravans parked outside. Whilst performing, they could look out into the vast countryside and catch sight of buzzards, hares, curlews and hundreds upon hundreds of crows and gulls. The fire was on permanently, overnight and throughout the day. A serene experience that informs every track on the album. It was mixed and finished in the equally rainy London, with additional performances from Olivia Chaney on piano and backing vocals, plus Nic Kearey and Rachel Davies of Stick in the Wheel and Various (XL). Jace Lasek (Besnard Lakes) recorded backing vocals in Vancouver remotely for All Returns.
As evidenced by the first single All Returns, Fain is more lyrically focused than anything they've previously recorded.. The song tells the story of a dream Jack Sharp (guitars/vocals) had during which an acquaintance had looked into his eyes and seen into his soul whilst calmly describing his faults and inner demons, a truly cathartic experience. However, says Sharp, his life is largely too banal for material and he largely draws upon snapshots of history to furnish him with the ideas for lyrics. Stand out track Thief is taken from various stories of highwaymen that had been made famous by broadsheet ballads and plays - the likes of Charles Peace, William Nevison, Jonathan Wild and Jack Sheppard. He delivers this story in first person, almost as if he is playing the part of a complete degenerate with little or no conscience or morals. As Sharp says, It's like a form of tourism. You can visit but not live in the mind of an appalling human being.Empty Vessels
When the Fire is Dead in the Grate
NRR$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Dalmak180g LP Audiophile Pressing Includes Art Poster
Fourth Album From Modern Contemporary / Instrumental Rock Ensemble Led By Percussionist Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) & Cellest Rebecca Food (Silver Mr Zion, Saltland, Set Fire To Flames)
Partly Recorded In Istanbul With Four Turkish Guest Players
Mixed By Jace Lasek (The Besbard Lakes, Wolf Parade, Suuns)
When Esmerine surfaced with La Lechuza in 2011, the album signaled many things: the band's first new recordings in six years, an expanded line-up, and a song cycle inspired by and dedicated to the life and untimely death of a dear friend and fellow musician. What wasn't immediately clear was whether this acclaimed record would mark the opening of a new chapter for the band, or stand alone as a singular work of eulogy and homage driven by emotion and circumstance.
Esmerine's new album Dalmak emphatically confirms that the group has indeed continued writing, exploring and collaborating - definitively extending its horizons in this new iteration of the band's trajectory. Bruce Cawdron (marimba) resigned from his seat as drummer for Godspeed You! Black Emperor in 2012, allowing him to focus more fully on Esmerine alongside co-founder and cellist Rebecca Foon (Silver Mt. Zion, Set Fire To Flames); the two
principals also recruited percussionist Jamie Thompson (Unicorns, Islands) and multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson as full-time members to solidify the group as a writing and performing quartet.
European tours in 2011-2012 brought Esmerine to Istanbul, where the group's enthusiastic reception led to an invitation for an artist residency in the city. Dalmak is the fruit of that visit: the majority of the album was recorded in Istanbul, where compositions by the band's four Canadian musicians were augmented by a number of Turkish guest players.
Dalmak is a Turkish verb with many connotations: to be absorbed in, to dive into, to bathe in, to contemplate, to plummet. As a title for Esmerine's new album, "dalmak refers in a literal sense to immersion in the culture and music of Istanbul but also appropriately evokes the range of music that emerged from this immersion: a collection of songs that shift between meditative pulsing and enveloping restraint to headlong flights into rhythm and groove. With Dalmak, Esmerine presents some of its most richly minimal and intimate music alongside what is surely its most explosive, energized and ornate. The album is a tour-de-force of cross-cultural music-making, emotive but unsentimental,
deeply textured and detailed but never precious or pedantic, superbly guided throughout by a balance of DIY rock, new folk and modern classical/contemporary sensibilities.
With initial recording by Barkin Engin and Metin Bozkurt in Istanbul, Esmerine laid down the
live bed tracks for the up-tempo rhythmic songs at the album's core: Lost River Blues, Barn Board Fire and Translator's Clos. Marimba, cello, drums, tenor banjo, bass and trumpet are joined by bendir, darbuka, erbane, meh, barama, saz and electric guitar from local players for these centerpiece tracks, where extended melodic themes and short solos are passed around and woven through staccato grooves and polyrhythmic vamps in deeply
satisfying fashion. The sessions continued back in MontrÉal at Breakglass, where Cawdron and Foon tracked the more studied cello and marimba songs Learning To Crawl and White Pine, and where the album's gorgeously saturated warmth, depth and propulsive grit was achieved courtesy of Breakglass head engineer Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes,
Wolf Parade, Suuns) and Ian Ilavsky, who mixed the album alongside Rebecca and Bruce.
We're thrilled to present this new album from Esmerine and to document the continued evolution of Bruce Cawdron and Rebecca Foon, two musicians with whom Constellation has enjoyed a decade-long relationship spanning multiple projects. Dalmak is a distinct and exciting highlight in their diverse and adventurous discographies.1. Learning To Crawl
2. Lost River Blues I
3. Lost River Blues II
4. Barn Board Fire
5. Hayale Dalmak
6. Translator's Clos I
7. Translator's Clos II
8. White Pine
9. Yavri Yavri$25.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now