Features | Awards

The Pink Floyd Redux Award

By Andre Perry | 12 December 2010

The Besnard Lakes
The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night
(Jagjaguwar/Outside; 2010)

Taking slightly different steps than their Montreal brethren (Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade), the Besnard Lakes are full of dreamy aesthetics and heady song movements. Coincidental or not, their epic and delicately paced The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night bleeds of the spacey Pink Floyd middle era (’68-’72), a time when that band, known for its attention to sonic detail, placed an even heavier emphasis on texture than they would on future records—before Roger Waters’ lyrical diatribes took center stage. Not that the Jace Lasek’s and Olga Gorea’s voices are buried or insignificant here; they are crucial to this record, woven in so carefully with the droney keyboards, crackling guitars, and other weird noises as to become as worthy for their sound as for the words.

The fiery, slow-building opener “Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent” is the marquee track here. Beginning with a trembling drone, buried, distorted voices, and psyched-out, distant guitars, it fully arrives a few minutes later with the drums pounding and Lasek and Gorea’s voices ringing something angelic. Its two-chord foundation, reminiscent of “Breathe,” locks us in for blissed-out ride. If this doesn’t get your nostalgic space-rock blood boiling, I’m not sure what else will in 2010.