Boomkat Product Review:
Sometimes a record drops onto the desk that really gets me salivating just from the notes on the attached sticker - this sticker however dropped so many references I just didn't know what to think. Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, Godspeed, Julee Cruise... the list goes on, and quite an unusual mix wouldn't you think? Lucky then that once I actually played the record all of these references slowly fell into place. The Beach Boys are probably the most evident influence, but like Panda Bear and The Woods, these gorgeous layered vocal harmonies are almost suffocated by the noise and grit of lo-fi recording, giving them a subtle shoegazer-like quality. Wrapped up in a kind of loungy darkness, the tracks curl and wisp their way through your mind, and this is maybe where Julee Cruise comes in - but at all times you get the feeling that Montreal's The Besnard Lakes are attempting to make pop music. A big obvious reference though I felt the label missed mentioning is My Bloody Valentine, and although every other band in the known universe seems to drop them as an influence, there's a resonance throughout that The Besnard Lakes seem to share a love of shimmering reverberation and spacious noise. They make indie-rock music somehow, but it's by way of so many other reference-points that it comes out as something else altogether, something hazy and buoyant. I guess there's a passion at the moment (especially from where I'm sitting) for gorgeous harmonies and classically produced 'songs', but what sets The Besnard Lakes apart from their peers is a musicality and a bravery in their experimentation - they don't seem afraid to alienate listeners with their peculiarity, and in that I find their music totally endearing. Shoegazers, sugar-pop addicts, Badalamenti fans and post-rockers unite - your Rosetta stone has appeared.