The Besnard Lakes raise immediate comparisons to the Arcade Fire, but those are primarily due to accidents of geography and band chemistry: like the Arcade Fire, The Besnard Lakes are from Montreal and led by a married couple. That's largely where the similarities end, because if this Quebecois collective resembles any of its Canadian counterparts, it would be as an unexpectedly effective combination of the Dears' psychedelic pop hooks and the languid space rock ambience of early Broken Social Scene.
The aforementioned married couple, singer and guitarist Jace Lasek and singer and bassist Olga Goreas, formed The Besnard Lakes in 2001 as a sideline to Lasek's day job as an in-demand producer at the Montreal recording studio he and Goreas own, Breakglass Studios. (Lasek has produced and engineered records by Wolf Parade, the Dears, Stars, and many other Canadian indie acts.) The band was originally a full-time project, but before it could record its debut album, the other members of the band left. Undaunted, Lasek and Goreas recorded nearly all of 2003's Besnard Lakes, Vol.1 on their own during down time at the studio, then self-released the result.
Following the album's glowing reviews, a touring lineup eventually solidified with guitarists Steve Raegele and Jeremiah Bullied, and drummer Kevin Laing. During sessions for the band's second album, Bullied was replaced by Richard White and keyboardist and arranger Nicole Lizée joined the band. Signing to the venerable dream pop indie label Jagjaguwar, The Besnard Lakes released their second album, The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse, in February 2007 and followed it up with The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night in March 2010.
2011 saw the band embark on a couple of different soundtracking projects, including the recording of music for both Mark Ruffalo's Sympathy for Delicious and a multimedia documentary entitled Welcome to Pine Point. During that same year they began sessions for what would eventually become 2013's Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO.
This album 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.