Lakes Of Canada
Remembering Kathleen Smith.
Forged from the tragic death of Jake Smith’s mother Kathleen Smith in 2010, Montreal’s Lakes of Canada craft their second progressive / pop / folk / gospel infused album with The Handmaid’s Tale-like inspiration, in the form of Transgressions. If you’re into Margaret Atwood, then this album will be up your alley. If not, you can still read on and give it a listen as bearded band members Jake Smith, Conor O’Neil, Tim Dobby, Greg Halpin, and Sarah Morasse (non bearded) weave fiction and non fiction textures together to bring us a wondrous musical tableau.
The collection starts off on the right footing with “Eden,” a slow, mournful burn that is sprinkled with acapella. The brisk walk continues with “The Fall,” providing a nice juxtaposition between O’Neil’s marching drums blaring against frontman Smith’s haunting falsetto. Synths are at the forefront in “Interlude 1” which then takes our hand to guide us into the Ambassador X-esque chanting of the “Handmaid’s Tale.” The organ then takes center stage with “Interlude 2.” “The Sons of Gilead” is a gem of a tune on the album with its galloping guitar / western theme. One would also particularly enjoy “The Handmaid’s Tale 2” as the instruments are showcased through the flute and guitar. Sarah’s paired voice with Jake gives us shivers throughout this track.
With the Lakes of Canada actually being from Canada (suck on that, Boards of Canada), we can appreciate one of our own (while being reminded of Margaret Atwood in the backdrop) with the ebbs and flow of this album. We start off as a mourning eulogy which then takes us through a complex journey of oppression, misogyny and violence against women. Trangressions lights the way on a dark path; listeners will enjoy the concept album’s harmonies / melodies and instrumentals steeped in religious / gospel musicianship. An admirable effort.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: LAKES OF CANADA – TRANSGRESSIONS