Song of the Day: The Besnard Lakes – People of the Sticks

photo by Brittney Bush Bollay

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “People of the Sticks” by The Besnard Lakes from the 2013 album Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO on Jagjaguwar.

The Besnard Lakes – People of the Sticks (MP3)

Formed by married couple Olga Goreas and Jace Lasek in Montreal, Canada, The Besnard Lakes have churned out four studio albums over their decade long career. Named after Besnard Lake in Saskatchewan, the indie pop-rock quartet have a tranquil and fluid sound that does their namesake proud. Goreas and Laske write the majority of the band’s melodies with drummer Kevin Lang and guitarist Richard White adding a rich, key layer to their ethereal and psychedelic resonance. Their third album The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night made it on the 10 album short list for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize. That same year they even dabbled in the world of film when they wrote the score for Sympathy for Delicious which was directed by actor Mark Ruffalo.

Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO, their most recent album, strays from the traditional verse and chorus song structure. “People of the Sticks” undoubtedly showcases this design and has a little bit of everything that makes these four artists such an intriguing group. It’s a refreshing pop ballad that fills the void left by today’s soulless Top 40 music. Olga Goreas’ delicate vocals and the robust guitar line are clouded in a tantalizing haze that makes this track feel like it defies gravity.

The Besnard Lakes have a very busy summer ahead, their tour will take them from the East Coast to Europe and then up to Canada. The closest upcoming show for the Pacific Northwest is in Vancouver on June 27. Find out more on their website (they even offer a way to track the band and receive notifications for when they come to town). Check out the band’s official music video for “People of the Sticks”.

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