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The Besnard Lakes: Filling The Room With Sound

Every weekday from March 8 to March 19, Song of the Day will showcase a track by an artist playing the South by Southwest music festival. For NPR Music's full coverage of SXSW — complete with full-length concerts, studio sessions, blogs, Twitter feeds, video and more — click here. And don't miss our continuous six-and-a-half-hour playlist, The Austin 100, which features much more of the best music the festival has to offer.

In an era of bedroom recordings and laptop productions, The Besnard Lakes' members specialize in big, arena-sized moments. Led by the husband-and-wife duo of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, the sprawling Montreal collective crafts complex and dramatic anthems that fill the room with blissful sound. From the ominous opening strains of the group's latest record, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night, the band sounds as epic as ever. With songs that mash together dark psychedelia, sunny chamber-pop and heroic prog-rock riffs, the album builds slowly from introspective beauty to fiery intensity.

"Albatross" finds Goreas taking the vocal spotlight, singing sweetly while accompanied by insular, shoegaze-tinged fuzz. Yet as the song expands in scope — caking on layer upon layer of glorious harmonies, overblown guitars, swirling feedback and the propulsive thunder of drums — "Albatross" begins to buckle like a collapsing star. In this cathartic peak, The Besnard Lakes' members bring all those disparate musical elements together in one bracing triumph.

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Mike Katzif