The Besnard Lakes will release their new album, The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings on January 29. Today the magisterial Montreal psych rock band offers fans a holiday treat by way of new single “Feuds With Guns.” The track arrives with a whimsical animated video directed by Dr. Cool who said, “I rotoscoped a couple of the big dives from a video of an extreme high-diving contest that took place in the 80s. About a week after I had animated the first guy’s big jump, I returned to the video to check out some other usable clips. I realized I had never watched the full clip of the first jump – I had just stopped once he hit the water. I found out that after he lands in the water he floats back up unconscious and then gets taken away on a stretcher. So now what was I supposed to do? People in the comments were asking what had happened but no one knew the answer. After a bunch of snooping around the internet I found the guy’s Facebook and he’s TOTALLY alive. His name is Pat and he lives in Florida. I messaged him but he hasn’t answered.” The track premiered via Under The Radar and the band told them, “‘Feuds With Guns’ is one of the first songs written from our upcoming LP. This one is a good slow-dancer! Written almost entirely in the Cabanon at The Rigaud Ranch, this one started out as an organ and drum idea that morphed into a little OMD-style pop song.” Under The Radar share, “’Feuds With Guns’ invites listeners back into The Besnard Lakes’ dreamy landscapes, swept along by the tide of the band’s hazy psychedelic style….(and) delivers one of their most intoxicating pop songs yet.”
The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings marks The Besnard Lakes’ first release via their new labels —Fat Cat Records in the US, Flemish Eye in Canada – and is the group’s 6th album. For its creation, The Besnard Lakes dispensed with a timeline and instead took all the time they needed to conceive, compose, record and mix the album. Some of its songs are old, resurrected from demos cast aside years ago. Others were literally woodshedded in the cabin behind Lasek and Goreas’s “Rigaud Ranch” – invented and reinvented, relishing this rougher sound. Some of that distortion makes its way into the final mix: an incandescent crackle that had receded from the Besnards’ more recent output.
Contemplating the darkness of dying and the light on the other side, The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is a double LP. “Near Death” is the title of the first side. “Death,” “After Death,” and “Life” follow next. It’s a journey into (and back from) the brink: the story of the Besnard Lakes’ own odyssey but also a remembrance of others’, especially the death of Lasek’s father in 2019. Being on your deathbed is perhaps the most psychedelic trip you can go on: in Lasek’s father’s case, he surfaced from a morphine dream to talk about “a window” on his blanket, with “a carpenter inside, making intricate objects.” That experience pervades the album.
In late 2020, as the world burns, there might be nothing less trendy than an hour-long psych-rock epic by a band of Canadian grandmasters. Then again, there might be nothing we need more.