The Besnard Lakes Return With “Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO” out April 2

The Besnard Lakes by Richmond Lam

The Besnard Lakes’ Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO had its humble beginnings in mid-2011 and was completed over the course of a year. Ever mindful and attentive to the most subtle and nuanced details, founding band members Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas produced, recorded and mixed at the stalwart Breakglass Studios in Montreal. Eventually mastered by the renowned Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, this fourth album by The Besnard Lakes’ features heavyweight additions by Moonface’s Spencer Krug and Mike Bigelow, The Barr Brothers’ Sarah Page, the always-enchanting Monica Guenter and the return of Fifth String Liberation Singers’ Choir.  

Stream “People Of The Sticks” HERE

The story of the album unfolds its introspection on the endurance of the human spirit during prophetic times as told by a spy or two, maybe more. Each of the eight tracks on the album takes off, coasts, and lands smoothly, with a jubilant slowburn of its own momentum for the benefit of the larger picture.

The Besnard Lakes create a distinct and dreamy headspace, an enigmatic and somehow familiar placelessness. It happens in such a way that both the close and casual listener find themselves immersed in the generous sonic vision, one moment as timeless as the next.


Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO

1. 46 Satires
2. And Her Eyes Were Painted Gold
3. People Of The Sticks
4. The Specter
5. At Midnight
6. Catalina
7. Colour Yr Lights In
8. Alamogordo



Stream new song “Off The Main Drag” now


Leif Vollebekk spent two years searching for perfect takes. This search took him from his home in Montreal to a studio in Manhattan, from a farmhouse in Woodstock, NY to a mansion outside Paris, and the result is a dusty, polished, new, old record called North Americana.

“I wrote the songs, I found the best band in the world, and then all I had to do was find the right studio, for the right take,” he says. “And it took forever.”

After his 2010 debut, Vollebekk knew the kind of album he wanted to make next: a record like the ones he loves by Gillian Welch or Ryan Adams, that feel old and familiar even when they’re new. But also a record that speaks to the listener through its lyrics, with songs “that can hold up in a storm,” that are packed full of perfect little mistakes. So he started writing. Ten new songs, the best he had ever written, with lines about love and the end of love, about journeys and homecoming, about the death of friends and drinking yourself dry. Now Vollebekk laughs: “I thought the record was done when I was finished writing the songs. ‘All we need to do is record it!’” But when you’re searching for the perfect take, recording is no small task. It happened only piece by piece, session by session, song by song, over the course of seasons.

The players were these: Vollebekk, singing, playing guitar and piano, harmonica, rusty fiddle on “When the Subway Comes Above the Ground”; the jazz musicians Hans Bernhard (bass) and Philippe Melanson (drums). “I wanted to be able to roam with them wherever I go,” Vollebekk says. Arcade Fire’s Sarah Neufeld played violin, arranging her own parts. Joe Grass played pedal steel, and Adam Kinner played tenor sax.

The heart of the songs were always recorded live, to tape. Old school, spontaneous, one real captured moment. To find these moments, they travelled. To Montreal‘s legendary Hotel 2 Tango studio, working with Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Coeur de Pirate, Godspeed You! Black Emperor). To New York City, working with Tom Gloady (Ryan Adams, Sigur Rós, Patti Smith). To La Frette studios, in La Frette-sur-Seine, France. And then back to Montreal, for one song at Breakglass studios. Vollebekk even tried recording with John Simon, the producer whose credits include Music from Big Pink and Songs of Leonard Cohen. At his home in upstate New York, Simon listened to “Cairo Blues,” then travelled up to Montreal to record it. “There was just not a good take,” Vollebekk says. “I ended up doing it a few months later, again at the Hotel, between takes of something else – and that’s just how it went.”

North Americana took years. “All this time,” Vollebekk says, “trying to get one take.” But the result is a beautiful, alive, human – shambling ballads, noisy folk songs, vivid portraits of a 27-year-old’s watercolour life. “I feel like I created a record from 1970something that no one’s heard before,” Vollebekk says. “I’m haggard and this record is all I got.”


Tour Dates:

1/25/13 Gatineau QC @ La Basoche SOLD OUT

2/07/13 New York NY @ Rockwood Music Hall (Communion NYC)

3/01/13 Wakefield QC @ The Black Sheep Inn

3/04/13 Chicago IL @ The Empty Bottle

3/20/13 Toronto ON @ CMW

3/21/13 Toronto ON @ CMW

3/22/13 Quebec City QC @ Le Cercle (album release show)

3/23/13 Montreal QC @ Cabaret du Mile-End

3/30/13 Magog QC @ Vieux-Clocher de Magog #

4/02/13 Terrebonne QC @ Théâtre du Vieux-Terrebonne #

# w/ Patrick Watson



FOR GOODNESS SAKE! An Outside Music Compilation to benefit HEROS Hockey: Available Now

“Let’s do something nice.” It was that easy to inspire the latest release from Outside Music, For Goodness Sake! A Compilation to Benefit HEROS Hockey. Available now, the digital-only album features ten of Outside Music’s artists – Jill Barber, Matthew Barber, Rose Cousins, Folly and The Hunter, Aidan Knight, Little Scream, Justin Rutledge, The Sadies, Sloan and Sunparlour Players.

For Goodness Sake is a collection of rarities, fan favourites and unreleased tracks that will only be available at It’s our holiday mixtape for the fans and for the kids in the HEROS Hockey program.                                                 

HEROS (Hockey Education Reaching Out Society) is charitable organization committed to empowering children through ice hockey. The premise of HEROS is to use the game of hockey as a catalyst to attract youth to a program offering support for education self-esteem building and life skills training.

HEROS has programs running across Canada and in Ireland, for kids in high-risk neighbourhoods, like Toronto’s Regent Park and Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.

All proceeds from the sale of For Goodness Sake will be donated to HEROS in honour of Chris Lewis, a friend of the Outside Music family.

For more information about HEROS:

Track Listing

Shake and Bake For Goodness Sake – Sunparlour Players (tour only release)

How It Came Down – Folly and The Hunter (previously unreleased)

Fast Talkin’ Man – Jill Barber (Mischievous Moon bonus track)

The Darkness – Rose Cousins

Don’t Be So Mean Jellybean – Justin Rutledge (No Never Alone Bonus Track)

Creatures Great & Small – Aidan Knight

Red Hunting Jacket – Little Scream

Guidance Counselor – Sloan (Twice Removed 2012 Deluxe Edition)

Where the River Bends – Matthew Barber with Jill Barber (Live Version, Previously unreleased)

Postcards – The Sadies




First singleAmen America” available now

It has been almost three years since Justin Rutledge has released an album—the longest stretch between albums for the 33 year-old songwriter who was born and raised in The Junction, an old railway neighbourhood in the west end of Toronto.The quiet songwriter returns to his roots with a stately collection of spacious songs featuring Rutledge’s trademark poetic lyrics. “I wanted to write songs the way I look at old photographs,” the singer says. “Valleyheart is, at the core, an album about translating memory.” The album is spare in its arrangements, and at times, achingly slow. “At this point in my career, I understand that my strength lies in writing songs that don’t exceed the speed limit,” jokes Rutledge. “I have never been more comfortable with my writing.”

Valleyheart was recorded in Toronto with Rutledge’s veteran backing band, featuring his best friend Bazil Donovan (Blue Rodeo) on bass, and mixed in Los Angeles by Dan Burns (Puscifer, Chuck Prophet). Rutledge has increasingly been spending more time in California. “Travel is a major theme on Valleyheart,” says Rutledge. “It is perhaps my most ‘Canadian’ album to date, even though it is heavily influenced by California.” The first single “Amen America” ( is Justin’s love letter to the US “I have acquired a deep fondness for America and the people I’ve met there although the country is beautiful, deeply troubled, and divided. “Amen America” is a song about a father and his daughter seeking refuge in memory as he searches for decent work and the hope for a new beginning as they travel the great country’s highways.” Rutledge also revisited some older, unfinished material on Valleyheart. “I began writing Kapuskasing Coffee and Heather In the Pines over a decade ago, but I never finished them. I thought it would be a good exercise to revisit some material I wrote when I was 21—I consider them to be a co-writes with my younger self and older self.”


During the time between the release of his last album up until now, Justin has become immersed in the world of theatre. His collaboration with Michael Ondaatje on the album The Early Widows lead to a role in the stage adaptation of the much loved novel “Divisadero” which had two separate and successful runs in Toronto. Most recently, Justin became involved with the Canadian Stage production of The Arsonists, being chosen by acclaimed director Morris Panych to be the musical director and performer of the famed production featuring such venerable Canadian actors as Michael Ball and Sheila McCarthy. “Working with such great actors and directors made me feel quite artistically focused,” Rutledge says. “Which is perhaps why Valleyheart is perhaps my most calm album.”


Rutledge’s other albums include No Never Alone (2004), The Devil On A Bench In Stanley Park (2006), Man Descending (2008), and The Early Widows (2010). He has twice been nominated for a Juno Award, and twice been long-listed for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize. Valleyheart is Rutledge’s first release on the Outside Music labeland will be released on February 12, 2013. The Arsonists runs at Canadian Stage until December 9.