A Bracing Dip

There's no shortage of textures in the albums of Montreal's the Besnard Lakes. Seven-minute jams plunge into inky atmospheres and orchestral flourishes give way to chunky rock. Frontman and producer Jace Lasek helmed March's The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night, endowing it with the same depth he lent to albums by Sunset Rubdown and Patrick Watson. It's a fitting follow-up to 2007's breakthrough The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse, which was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize in Canada. Flanked by guitarist Richard White and drummer Kevin Laing, the multi-instrumental Lasek shares vocals with his wife, bassist Olga Goreas. Lasek's ghostly falsetto sounds like a more androgynous Bon Iver, and Goreas expands her reassuring delivery on the lead single "Albatross." Roaring Night is a room-filling monster of a listen, all bucking climaxes, scenery-chewing guitar solos, and stormy sentiment — "And This Is What We Call Progress," for example, alludes to the fate of Native Americans. But the album is no downer, and the Besnard Lakes are always in motion, building towards something huge.

Happy Hollows and the New Slave open.
Mon., May 10, 8 p.m., 2010

 
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