Secretly Canadian will descend on Austin next week, to participate in the monumental sonic jubilee that is South By Southwest. SC is hosting a split showcase with sister labels Jagjaguwar and Dead Oceans on the evening of Thursday, March 15 at Mohawk:.

For more SC action, you can check out their bands at these additional performances:

David Vandervelde:
– Wed. 3/14 – Fader/Levi’s party – The Fort – 204 E. 4th St. – 5:15pm
– Thu. 3/15 – Schuba’s party – Yard Dog Folk Art Gallery – 1510 S. Congress 2:25pm
– Fri. 3/16 – “Mess With Texas” party – Red Seven (611 E. 7th St) – 3pm
– Sat. 3/17 – Shoutitoutloud music party – The Whiskey Bar (303 W. 5th St.) – 4pm

Richard Swift:
– SCD day party – Carousel Lounge (1110 E. 52nd St.) – 2:20pm

I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness:
– Friday 3/16 – Under The Radar Party – The Belmont – 5:30pm

Catfish Haven:
– Wed. 3/14 – Metro Anniv. Party – Emo’s main room – 4:20pm
– Thu. 3/15 – Rainbow by Rainbow West – Chain Drive (504 Willow St. – just south of 1st and Red River, on Town Lake) – 1:30pm
– Fri. 3/16 – Hot Freaks! Day party – Mohawk outside – 12pm

A few downloads from the Jagjaguwar bands:
The Besnard Lakes – “And You Lied To Me”, Okkervil River – “The President’s Dead” & “Black”, Ladyhawk – “War” & “Dugout”


Have you ever wondered what 70’s era Pink Floyd would have sounded like if Syd Barrett hadn’t taken too much LSD resulting in his ejection from the band? In this alternate reality the band continues to experiment with improvised sonic soundscapes and never stumbles on formulaic commercial gold in the form of Dark Side of the Moon. If you took this band and injected it with a heavy dose of “Pet Sounds” harmonies and effects, and the stringed/orchestral instrumentation from early day Moody Blues. Finally, if you updated the resulting sound with modern overtones – distortion & tonalities – you might just end up with something similar to The Besnard Lakes’ The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse.

Less and more precisely, The Besnard Lakes are improvisational jams interjected with noise pop that mood swings from the melancholy to the inspirational over 6 minute long trippy opuses while invoking alternately haunting and reflective imagery in the listener.


Try saying that five times fast. On second thought, don’t. Take a cue from The Besnard Lakes and take your time to get where I’m going, where we’re going. Just read it over a few times and let it sink in and then ponder these questions:

Who said that a song should be three minutes long?

Why is everyone in a rush to get somewhere anyway?

Is it about getting there or is it about the journey?

If music for you is about the journey and if you miss the experimental and improvisational side of psychedelic pop rock that was killed dead in the 70’s by the over indulgent egos of prog rockers, then The Besnard Lakes are your band.

A personal favorite was “Rides the Rails,” a merger of all that was good and not pretentious and cheesy in the Moody Blues (think Ride My See Saw) with all that was experimental and strange in Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd.

Standouts aside, I dug the whole album, and really appreciate what these guys are up to. A short laundry list of things I appreciate: heavily reverbed falsetto male vocals, the tendency to never rush music, a diverse cross section of influences, experimentation, an obvious attention to detail, and tones from yesteryear (rotary/leslie reverb, Hammond organ tones) merged with more modern sounds. In short, I found the album refreshing, challenging, and unique; unique in spite of the obviousness of their influences. It was a joy to listen to yet made me sad, very sad indeed, that I live in Calgary and not Montreal, the epicenter of all that is good in indie music. I can just imagine that The Besnard Lakes would put on a phenomenal live show.

David Morley


If you were making a mix for our readers, what would be the first three songs you’d select?
Over and Over – Fleetwood Mac
Penny Hitch – Soft Machine
New Grass – Talk Talk

Name any musical influence(s)?
There are so many, I’m not sure where to begin! Plus it’s always morphing. I’d have to say that when the Kim’s (Deal and Gordon) appeared on the scene, I pretty much followed suit. So yeah – Pixies, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine – those were the formative bands for me.

What new music are you currently listening to?
I’m loving Priestess’ Hello Master. I’ve really been yearning for catchy metal and that album does the trick. Plus we played a show with them here awhile back and it was fun. I find it hard to play catch up with new music sometimes. I’m still into (re)discovering older music. There’s just so much out there. Having said that, it’s pretty easy for me to like stuff that comes out of my husband’s studio. Patrick Watson, Land of Talk, and Sunset Rubdown are all really great.

Name a band (current or defunct) that would be your dream act to open for on a major tour?
One band?! That’s too hard… Here are a few:
Pink Floyd, Brian Wilson (the Smile tour was amazing!), PJ Harvey, Fleetwood Mac, Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush, Frank Zappa, Slayer, Rush

Who, if anyone, would you like to collaborate with?
See the previous answer(s) ;o)

Tell us something about you that we can’t find on Google.
You don’t Google peoples names, do you?
If yes my name is Doris McClure.


Its been quite some time since two people told me to check out a band that I was completely unfamiliar with. I’m not sure its ever happened that two people told me on the very same day. Maybe it’s all record label smoke and mirrors?

JAGJAGUWAR is kind enough to allow you to make that decision for yourself. Click here to stream the February 20 release The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse.

Like what you heard? Download: The Besnard Lakes – And You Lied To Me