Montreal has in recent years produced an abundance of amazing artists. The Arcade Fire, Stars and Plants & Animals have achieved critical acclaim and amassed nationwide popularity while delivering art that not only is accessible but daring in its construct and musicianship. Another Montreal band the Besnard Lakes, on a similar rise, played the Media Club this Wednesday night, delivering a mystical musical experience. But before the main course, Hollerado kick started the night with a blues-inspired rock appetizer. With a heavy dose of touring, the boys from Manotick, Ontario have garnered high praise for their raw, genuine image and off-the-chart live energy. Having just released their debut disc Record In A Bag, the boys are embarking on a summer tour playing alongside Toronto’s Fucked Up, as well as, rising stars out of Brooklyn, Fang Island.
With the adrenaline in the room pumping, it was now time for the Besnard Lakes. Through fog and blue light, the quartet, led by husband and wife Jace Lacek and Olga Goreas took to the stage, delivering a mesmerizing medley of atmospheric, progressive, psychedelic and shoe-gaze rock ‘n’ roll. While debate can be had on how to label the sound of the Besnard Lakes, their musicianship is undeniable. Prefaced with eerie samplings of recordings taken from shortwave radio numbers stations, recordings thought to communicate messages to spies, the Besnard Lakes’ songs begin shrouded in mystery. With the infusion of Lacek’s haunting falsetto and the band’s smooth power, the songs take on a life and echo a state of expansive magnificence and grandeur.
Including hits from both The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse and their current record, The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night, the set showcased the full spectrum of the group’s evolution to date. Highlights included the soothing and swaying “Albatross,” “And This Is What We Call Progress,” “Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent” (both parts) and the psychedelic “Devastation”.