The Besnard Lakes- Are The Dark Horse

The Besnard Lakes- <i>Are The Dark Horse</i>
"Baby I’ve got some words for you …” Propped up by pillowy acoustics and tender trumpets, these few lyrics encapsulate everything that the Besnard Lakes have come to represent. On their sophomore album, The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse, the Montreal-based sextet sharpened their elbows and ploughed their way out from the underground. There’s definitely an element of paradox surrounding the surreptitiously windswept and engaging album, but somehow the Besnards must have known that this type of playfulness would attract listeners and ease them into their dark, esoteric world. The lyrics and album title obviously suggest a kind of irony, and it’s with this tongue-in-cheek attitude that the Besnards locate their sound: throughout the record, Brian Wilson-type falsettos sneak around the shoegaze harmonies in hide-and-go-seek fashion, and thanks to the layered complexity of string, horn and percussion instruments, Are The Dark Horse becomes an intense interrogation that can still emit a bubbly, feel-good pop aura. From the oddly foreboding mysticism of "Disaster” to the surfgaze experimentalism of "Cedric’s War,” the Besnard Lakes aren’t shy about asserting themselves, letting their poise and fervour ooze with every unkempt harmony. (Jagjaguwar/Outside)