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Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse

The Besnard LakesAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Price: $14.58 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 16 Songs, 2006 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2007 $14.58  
Vinyl, 2007 $15.14  

Amazon's The Besnard Lakes Store


Image of album by The Besnard Lakes


Image of The Besnard Lakes


The 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. ... Read more in Amazon's The Besnard Lakes Store

Visit Amazon's The Besnard Lakes Store
for 5 albums, 4 photos, and 1 full streaming song.

Frequently Bought Together

Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse + Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night [Vinyl] + Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO (LP+MP3)
Price for all three: $47.66

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 20, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • ASIN: B000M06KCA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,473 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Disaster
2. For Agent 13
3. And You Lied to Me
4. Devastation
5. Because Tonight
6. Rides the Rails
7. On Bedford and Grand
8. Cedric's War

Editorial Reviews

It's not too hard to imagine what the Besnard Lakes' record collection might look like after hearing the eight songs here--the Beach Boys and Spiritualized taking position somewhere near the front--but that doesn't break the tantalizing spell cast by the Montréal husband-and-wife team of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas. A dreamy cocktail of West Coast harmonies, glum strings, and fuzzy psychedelic arrangements, the disc is something of a bleak masterpiece that takes after the Arcade Fire's Funeral. Songs like "Disaster" and "Devastation" (it's not too hard to detect a theme, either) rattle around on wobbly guitars and shimmering electronic effects until they spill over in a big rumpus, driven on by a six-person band and five-piece choir. The group's main attraction, however, is Goreas, who has a softly sensual voice pitched somewhere between Hope Sandoval and a wet, warm kiss behind the ear. --Aidin Vaziri

Product Description

Rich 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Besnard Lakes Are Truly The Dark Horse March 4, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Another amazing band emerges from Montreal, fronted by husband and wife. Main vocalist and songwriter Jace has produced Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade and more. The album features members of the Dears, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, and more. The cred is there... but that doesn't always mean much.

But these guys have risen far above all that... guest appearances and past glories aside, The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse is a truly surprising, original and vigorous album.

An odd and strangely appealing collection of influences come together on the record. The vocals immediately recall Brian Wilson, as do the harmonies that singer Jace writes. But these vocal sounds are set against spacey, shoegaze style backing. The songs feature slow core arrangements in the vein of Low at times. At others they take off in proggy and floydian directions. At others the carefully arranged strings and horns give a more baroque/orchestral feel. The strategically placed tremolo guitar gives a southern feel (think My Morning Jacket). The odd and exciting combinations are endless.

The Album kicks off with `Disaster', a track that starts with sweet harmonies and unique strings, then becomes entirely odd and utterly intriguing by its completion.

Track 2, `For Agent 13', is a particularly exceptional example of the eclecticism previously mentioned. It comes off like Mazzy Star collaborating with Brian Wilson on a Sigur Ros cover version. `And You Lied To Me' hits a huge reverb drenched, guitar solo climax that is driven home by pounding 70s style classic rock drums and thick melodic bass. Warped electronic squeals finish the track.

The following track, Devastation, charges in with a heavy/hard rock riff that gives way to completely spaced out vocals...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Let me state upfront that I was unfamiliar with The Besnard Lakes until I heard them on the excellent internet indie rock station WOXY. After that I dove into the band's music and listened to their musical output so far. 2005's "Volume 1" was ok, but I have been charmed much more by this album. If you are not familiar with the band's sound, it's a concontion of My Morning Jacket meets the Beach Boys meets Godspeed You! Back Emperor, yea, for real.

On "The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse" (8 tracks, 45 min.), the band, fronted by the husband and wife team of Olga Goreas and Jace Lasek, expand very nicely on the early beginnings of the band. Check out the opener "Disaster", which goes back and forth between soft and harder-crunching music, intermixed with harmonizing vocals reminiscent of the Beach Boys. But in style it really reminds me more of My Morning Jacket era-Tennessee Fire and At Dawn, even though the music rocks, HARD at times. Other highlights on the album for me are the epic 7+ min. "And You Lied To Me", the Olga-fronted and hard charging "Devistation", and "Because Tonight", another 7+ min. tune. But in truth, there are no weak tracks on this album. The whole album clips along very nicely, and at 45 min. from beginning to end, you find yourself playing it again and again, can you have a better compliment to an album?

The Besnard Lakes came to Cincinnati in early December (opening for Peter, Bjorn & John) and I was absolutly mesmorised how the songs of "The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse" resonated in concert, even better than on the album, with a terrific "wall of sound". This is for me one of the surprise albums of the year. Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kind of the Dark Horse , but could be Darker. October 29, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Interesting stuff..... Did you ever here one song from a band & your thoughts are Wow! Their other stuff must be great as well? I bought this because of For Agent 13, which is very, very cool & I see how some can compare this Canadian band to Sigur Ros & the like, but the cd is not very consistant to that particular sound. Disaster is very good as well, but some tracks are all over the place. I also wish that there were a bit more of the Brain Wilson harmonies that I keep hearing about, but you can clearly hear that there was some influence. Thats not to say its bad in any way just kind of different & it gets a little up beat for my taste, but I am into a more somber sound so others may like that tempo change? I always find it most helpful when reviewers compare to other bands so my best description would be......some of the older 4AD stuff, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, & then some Earlimart, but most of all & I know this may sound crazy, but it also brings to mind Catherine Wheel, but again the sound changes too frequently so its difficult to perfectly describe the style. This the only reason its not a 5 star cd in my opinion, but well worth owning For track 2 alone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid July 11, 2007
Format:Audio CD
OK, I never listened to much of the Beach Boys and still like to challenge their indie relevance a bit, but The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse is not going to get through any review without a reference to the famed surfers. Like Brian Wilson leading an anthemic 70's rock band through an early 90's slowcore filter, The Besnard Lakes are a surprising revelation. After the first listen to BL's glistening guitars and pitch perfect harmonies I thought it was a little too polished and a bit too average for my taste. Somehow, though, after that initial listen, Besnard Lake's got their hooks in me and now, multiple listens later, the band has proved some unanticipated replay value. It is hazy music to be sure, disorienting you before you realize. This must be how they finally get their hooks in you so you can't let them go. There is something about the recordings that digs deep under your skin. A couple times there is even an air reminiscent of the score to The Labyrinth. If you're not a fan of that movie don't let it scar you. The Besnard Lakes are the real deal and a solid end of year contender for 2007.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great band
I went to see them on a whim and came away a lifelong fan. I went out and bought all there CD's and every one was well worth the money,this band can't be beat
Published 11 months ago by Matthew K. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars On the 5 side of 4.5 stars
The first 6 tracks are perfect. Drops off with the last two. Wonderfully eerie mixture of sounds and eras. Read more
Published on June 20, 2010 by S. Lomeli
4.0 out of 5 stars dark horse, shiny shoes
this album took me by complete surprise. It was one of those a friend passed on to me in CDR format a few months ago and said one word - 'listen'. Read more
Published on October 20, 2007 by polymer moy
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily one of the top 10 albums of 2007
Having been inundated with dated music, cliched artists and a dearth of musical creativity, stumbling upon The Besnard Lakes was a true pleasure. Read more
Published on August 29, 2007 by Hendrexx
5.0 out of 5 stars My second-favorite album of the year.
And the only reason why it isn't my favorite is because Rush released one this year. Add that to some great 2007 sounds by the Arcade Fire and others, and Canada has really outdone... Read more
Published on August 14, 2007 by BaronFellDown
1.0 out of 5 stars Time to put the horse down...
I came across The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse completely by accident at my local record store, and was immediately intrigued by the album art. Read more
Published on May 5, 2007 by Aeropause
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Wild Honey
This album is weird and heavy. If Carl Wilson and the Wilderness or Black Mountain went into a room with filled with big, humming amps and a medicine cabinet full of codeine and... Read more
Published on April 20, 2007 by John Wraith
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of 2007: My New Favorite Band!
2007 has been so far as prolific of a year for music as 2005 was. But one of the most amazing releases of the year has been the latest release by The Besnard Lakes, titled "The... Read more
Published on April 14, 2007 by Manny Hernandez
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting a horse through a Dark meadow
I know that is a random statement, but it pretty much sums up the way I feel about The Besnard Lakes debut album. Read more
Published on March 30, 2007 by J. Walkos
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