The Besnard Lakes

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The Besnard Lakes
The Besnard Lakes. (Left to right: Kevin Laing, Richard White, Jace Lasek, Olga Goreas)
Background information
Origin Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Indie rock, shoegaze, post-rock, new prog
Years active2003 (2003)present
Labels Jagjaguwar
Outside Music
Static Caravan
Members Jace Lasek
Olga Goreas
Kevin Laing
Richard White
Sheenah Ko
Robbie MacArthur
Past membersSteve Raegele
Jeremiah Bullied
Nicole Lizée

The Besnard Lakes are a Canadian indie rock band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Formed in 2003 by the husband and wife team of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, the band also includes Kevin Laing (drums), Richard White (guitar), Sheenah Ko (keyboards) and Robbie MacArthur (guitar).

Indie rock is a genre of rock music that originated in the United States and United Kingdom in the 1970s. Originally used to describe independent record labels, the term became associated with the music they produced and was initially used interchangeably with alternative rock. As grunge and punk revival bands in the US and Britpop bands in the UK broke into the mainstream in the 1990s, it came to be used to identify those acts that retained an outsider and underground perspective. In the 2000s, as a result of changes in the music industry and the growing importance of the Internet, some indie rock acts began to enjoy commercial success, leading to questions about its meaningfulness as a term.

Montreal City in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

Jace Lasek Canadian musician

Jace Lasek is a Canadian musician and producer living in Montreal. He and his wife Olga Goreas are the principal songwriters for the Montreal-based indie rock band The Besnard Lakes. Lasek plays guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. He is also the band's lead vocalist.


Two of the band's five albums have been nominated for the Polaris Music Prize.

Polaris Music Prize award

The Polaris Music Prize is a music award annually given to the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label. The award was established in 2006 with a $20,000 cash prize; the prize was increased to $30,000 for the 2011 award. In May 2015, the Polaris Music Prize was increased to $50,000, an additional $20,000, sponsored by Slaight Music. Additionally, second place prizes for the nine other acts on the Short List increased from $2,000 to $3,000. Polaris officials also announced The Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize, an award that "will annually honour five albums from the five decades before Polaris launched in 2006." Details about the selection process for this prize are still to be revealed.


Early career

The band are currently a six-piece centered around the atmospheric songs of Lasek and Goreas, whose expansive sound draws from numerous aspects of rock 'n' roll history. The band's name comes from Besnard Lake in North-Central Saskatchewan. The band's second album, The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse was recorded at singer Lasek's own Breakglass Studios, with members of Stars, The Dears and Godspeed You! Black Emperor/Silver Mt. Zion making guest appearances. [1] It was nominated for the 2007 Polaris Music Prize. Many songs on The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse are prefaced by recordings from shortwave radio number stations as first made popular in recordings such as The Conet Project.

Saskatchewan Province of Canada

Saskatchewan is a prairie and boreal province in western Canada, the only province without a natural border. It has an area of 651,900 square kilometres (251,700 sq mi), nearly 10 percent of which is fresh water, composed mostly of rivers, reservoirs, and the province's 100,000 lakes.

<i>The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse</i> 2007 studio album by The Besnard Lakes

The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse is the second studio album by the Canadian rock band The Besnard Lakes, released in 2007. The album was The Besnard Lakes' first release on indie label Jagjaguwar and was self-produced by bandleaders Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas. It was nominated for the 2007 Polaris Music Prize.

Stars (Canadian band) Canadian indie rock band

Stars is a Canadian indie pop/rock band based in Montreal, Quebec. Since forming in 2000 they have released nine albums and a number of EPs. Their music has been nominated for two Juno Awards and two Polaris Music Prizes.

A third studio album, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night , was released on Jagjaguwar on March 9, 2010. [2] A 12" record featuring album track "Albatross" and "Four Long Lines" was released on February 9, 2010. [3] This album was a shortlisted nominee for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize. [4]

<i>The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night</i> 2010 studio album by The Besnard Lakes

The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night is the third studio album by the Canadian rock band The Besnard Lakes, released in North America on March 9, 2010. The lead single, "Albatross", was released as a 12-inch single on February 9, 2010.

2010 Polaris Music Prize

The 2010 edition of the Canadian Polaris Music Prize was presented on September 20, 2010. The gala presentation was held at Toronto's Masonic Temple, and was hosted by Grant Lawrence of CBC Radio 3 and Sarah Taylor of MuchMusic.

The band wrote their first film score for the film Sympathy for Delicious , from actor/director Mark Ruffalo. [5] They also wrote and performed the score for the National Film Board of Canada web documentary Welcome to Pine Point . [6] The collaboration came about when Lasek was approached by the website's co-creator Mike Simons, an old friend from high school. The soundtrack includes their reworking of the Trooper single, "We're Here For a Good Time (Not a Long Time)." [7] The group released their score for Welcome to Pine Point as a twelve-inch EP entitled You Lived in the City. The album also features a previously unreleased outtake from their score for the film Memories Corner, entitled "The Corner." [8]

<i>Sympathy for Delicious</i> 2010 film by Mark Ruffalo

Sympathy for Delicious is a 2010 drama film, and the directorial debut of Mark Ruffalo. Filming took place in Los Angeles.

Mark Ruffalo American actor

Mark Ruffalo is an American actor and producer. He began acting in the early 1990s and first gained recognition for his work in Kenneth Lonergan's play This Is Our Youth (1998) and drama film You Can Count On Me (2000). He went on to star in the romantic comedies 13 Going on 30 (2004) and Just like Heaven (2005) and the thrillers Zodiac (2007) and Shutter Island (2010). He gained wider recognition for his role as Bruce Banner / Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films, including The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

National Film Board of Canada Canadas public film and digital media producer and distributor

The National Film Board of Canada is Canada's public film and digital media producer and distributor. An agency of the Government of Canada, the NFB produces and distributes documentary films, animation, web documentaries, and alternative dramas. In total, the NFB has produced over 3,000 productions since its inception, which have won over 5,000 awards. The NFB reports to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. It has English-language and French-language production branches.

Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO (2013–2014)

A new studio album, Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO, was released in April 2013. In June the album was longlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.

The 2013 edition of the Canadian Polaris Music Prize was presented on September 23, 2013 at The Carlu event theatre in Toronto, Ontario.

In 2014, guitarist Richard White removed himself from the band's touring line-up. A message on the band's official website stated, "After seven years, our beloved guitar player Richard White has decided not to tour anymore. You can still expect to hear his virtuosic playing on our albums. but sadly, you will not see him on stage with us much anymore. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Richard from the bottom of our hearts for all the dedicated years of performing with us." [9] Following White's live departure, guitarist Robbie MacArthur joined the band's touring line-up, alongside keyboardist Sheenah Ko. [10]

A Coliseum Complex Museum (2015–present)

Following the completion of the Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO tour, both Ko and MacArthur joined the band's full line-up. The six-piece began work on its fifth studio album, A Coliseum Complex Museum . The release was preceded by an EP, entitled Golden Lion in late 2015.





See also


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  1. The Besnard Lakes: "Would Anybody Come To Visit Me", Static Caravan Records, retrieved August 21, 2008.
  2. Schneider, Jason."The Besnard Lakes Psychedelic Nocturnes", Exclaim! , March 2010.
  3. Jagjaguwar News: "News item from December 10, 2009", Jagjaguwar, retrieved December 11, 2009.
  4. Thompson, Ciaran (September 20, 2010). "Karkwa win 2010 Polaris Music Prize". Aux. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  5. "Mastodon, Besnard Lakes Score Forthcoming Films", Pitchfork Media, retrieved November 16, 2009.
  6. Hudson, Alex (February 15, 2011). "The Besnard Lakes Score New Interactive Web Documentary". Exclaim! . Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  7. Boles, Benjamin (January 23, 2011). "Besnard Lakes score Pine Point". Now magazine . Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  8. Hudson, Alex (June 30, 2011). "The Besnard Lakes Announce New 12-Inch EP". Exclaim! . Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  10. The Besnard Lakes [@BesnardLakes] (August 19, 2014). "Excited that Robbie MacArthur (gtr) and Sheenah Ko (keys, vocals, bells&whistles) will be joining us on Europe tour!" (Tweet) via Twitter.