Those of us who turned out to see The Besnard Lakes last night at TT the Bear’s Place in Boston got some cool surprises: the debut of some new material, plus a few tantalizing details about the long-awaited follow-up to their 2007 stunner The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse.
Featuring a stripped-down four-person lineup—and, sadly, minus their usual smoke machine—the Besnards seemed a little tentative at first, with bassist/vocalist Olga Goreas confessing: “We haven’t done this in a while.” Even so, it didn’t take long for the band to showcase gorgeous blended vocals, shoegazing guitars, and cinematic, David Lynch-influenced atmosphere on live staples like “Disaster” and “And You Lied to Me.”
And they played new songs, too: four of them in all, two of which are so new, vocalist/guitarist Jace Lasek told me, that they don’t even have names yet. In general, the new material seemed more on the dense, noisy side, a la “Devastation,” though that could just have been the live setting; the nameless opening song featured gauzy, echoing feedback waves nearly burying overlapping vocals, while riffs from the more propulsive “Glass Printer” seemed to reverberate off the ceiling. My favorite new song, “Chicago Train,” had the epic feel of 2008’s excellent Casino Nanaimo, with Lasek gorgeously crooning “this is the last time I will follow,” while Goreas played the flute (!) along with some truly beautiful guitar melodies.
After the show, Lasek revealed that the band’s next album has a working title of Let the Night Roar—assuming he’s not joking around, it’s one of those titles that walks the fine line between awesome and completely over the top. After playing one more show in New York tonight, the band will go back to the studio and refine the songs for a tentative March 2010 release.
In the meantime, here’s my favorite song from Dark Horse and one of last night’s live standouts, the haunting, heartbreaking “For Agent 13”:
The Besnard Lakes - "And You Lied To Me" mp3