The Besnard Lakes

The Besnard Lakes (/ˈbɛznɜːrd/ BEZ-nerd) are a Canadian indie rock band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Formed in 2003 by the husband and wife team of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, the band also includes Kevin Laing (drums), Richard White (guitar), Sheenah Ko (keyboards) and Robbie MacArthur (guitar).

The Besnard Lakes
The Besnard Lakes. (Left to right: Kevin Laing, Richard White, Jace Lasek, Olga Goreas)
The Besnard Lakes. (Left to right: Kevin Laing, Richard White, Jace Lasek, Olga Goreas)
Background information
OriginMontreal, Quebec, Canada
GenresIndie rock, shoegaze, post-rock, new prog
Years active2003 (2003)–present
LabelsFatCat (US)
Flemish Eye (Canada)
Full Time Hobby (Rest of world)
MembersJace Lasek
Olga Goreas
Kevin Laing
Richard White
Sheenah Ko
Robbie MacArthur
Past membersSteve Raegele
Jeremiah Bullied
Nicole Lizée

Two of the band's six albums have been nominated for the Polaris Music Prize.


Early careerEdit

The band are currently a six-piece centered around the atmospheric songs of Lasek and Goreas, whose expansive sound draws from numerous aspects of rock 'n' roll history. The band's name comes from Besnard Lake in North-Central Saskatchewan. The band's second album, The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse was recorded at singer Lasek's own Breakglass Studios, with members of Stars, The Dears and Godspeed You! Black Emperor/Silver Mt. Zion making guest appearances.[1] It was nominated for the 2007 Polaris Music Prize. Many songs on The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse are prefaced by recordings from shortwave radio number stations as first made popular in recordings such as The Conet Project.

A third studio album, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night, was released on Jagjaguwar on March 9, 2010.[2] A 12" record featuring album track "Albatross" and "Four Long Lines" was released on February 9, 2010.[3] This album was a shortlisted nominee for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize.[4]

The band wrote their first film score for the film Sympathy for Delicious, from actor/director Mark Ruffalo.[5] They also wrote and performed the score for the National Film Board of Canada web documentary Welcome to Pine Point.[6] The collaboration came about when Lasek was approached by the website's co-creator Mike Simons, an old friend from high school. The soundtrack includes their reworking of the Trooper single, "We're Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time)".[7] The group released their score for Welcome to Pine Point as a twelve-inch EP entitled You Lived in the City. The album also features a previously unreleased outtake from their score for the film Memories Corner entitled "The Corner."[8]

Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO (2013–2014)Edit

A new studio album, Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO, was released in April 2013. In June the album was longlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.

In 2014, guitarist Richard White removed himself from the band's touring line-up. A message on the band's official website stated, "After seven years, our beloved guitar player Richard White has decided not to tour anymore. You can still expect to hear his virtuosic playing on our albums. but sadly, you will not see him on stage with us much anymore. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Richard from the bottom of our hearts for all the dedicated years of performing with us."[9] Following White's live departure, guitarist Robbie MacArthur, a member of The High Dials, joined the band's touring line-up, alongside keyboardist Sheenah Ko.[10]

A Coliseum Complex Museum (2015–present)Edit

Following the completion of the Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO tour, both Ko and MacArthur joined the band's full line-up. The six-piece began work on its fifth studio album, A Coliseum Complex Museum. The release was preceded in late 2015 by an EP entitled The Golden Lion 12".




  • You Lived in the City (2011)
  • The Golden Lion 12" (2015)
  • The Besnard Lakes Are the Divine Wind (2017)


  • "Would Anybody Come to Visit Me" (10", Static Caravan, 2005)
  • "Casino Nanaimo" (12", Jagjaguwar, 2007)
  • "For Agent 13" (2007)
  • "Albatross" (12", Jagjaguwar, 2010)
  • "People of the Sticks" (Jagjaguwar, 2013)
  • "Raindrops" (2020)
  • "Our Heads, Our Hearts on Fire Again" (2020)

See alsoEdit


  • Rajagopalan, Pras (March 2007). "Pop Rocks: The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 3, 2007.
  • Sterdan, Darryl (February 22, 2007). "The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse (review)". Jam! (Sun Media). Retrieved May 3, 2007.


  1. ^ The Besnard Lakes: "Would Anybody Come To Visit Me", Static Caravan Records, retrieved August 21, 2008.
  2. ^ Schneider, Jason."The Besnard Lakes Psychedelic Nocturnes", Exclaim!, March 2010.
  3. ^ Jagjaguwar News: "News item from December 10, 2009", Jagjaguwar, retrieved December 11, 2009.
  4. ^ Thompson, Ciaran (September 20, 2010). "Karkwa win 2010 Polaris Music Prize". Aux. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  5. ^ "Mastodon, Besnard Lakes Score Forthcoming Films", Pitchfork Media, retrieved November 16, 2009.
  6. ^ Hudson, Alex (February 15, 2011). "The Besnard Lakes Score New Interactive Web Documentary". Exclaim!. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  7. ^ Boles, Benjamin (January 23, 2011). "Besnard Lakes score Pine Point". Now magazine. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  8. ^ Hudson, Alex (June 30, 2011). "The Besnard Lakes Announce New 12-Inch EP". Exclaim!. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  9. ^ "NEWS OLD – The Besnard Lakes". Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  10. ^ The Besnard Lakes [@BesnardLakes] (August 19, 2014). "Excited that Robbie MacArthur (gtr) and Sheenah Ko (keys, vocals, bells&whistles) will be joining us on Europe tour!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External linksEdit