released 19 May 2012
“If you haven’t caught a glimpse of Lakes of Canada, don’t worry – you probably will. Fresh out of the studio, the band is winning Montreal over with its warm, folky tunes.”
-The Montreal Gazette
“Frontman Jake Smith was, at all times, sweaty and captivating, singing with his whole mouth, his whole body; when he walloped his guitar for percussive purposes you felt it was going to splinter.”
“They’re like a Canadian Fleet Foxes. I’m a sucker for random instruments, and boy did they deliver on those.”
Recently voted #3 Best Local Folk Act and #4 Most Pretentious Local Act in CULT Montreal’s 2013 “Best of Montreal” reader’s poll, Lakes of Canada began in the summer of 2010 when best-friends Jake Smith and Conor O’Neil, who met in a synagogue choir, began performing Jake’s songs as a duo. The duo soon added the dynamic Chris Barillaro to their group, adding his voice and piano playing to their already expanding sound, and recording their EP Broken Mirrors (Spring 2011) shortly thereafter. The following year saw the additions of guitar-expert Tim Dobby, and Gwen Bergman, taking over keyboard and backup vocal duties from Chris, but also adding her skills on organ, harp and flute to the ever-expanding list of instruments employed both on- and off-stage. Described as “a cross between Fleet Foxes and Simon and Garfunkel” (Ottawa Sun), Lakes employs lyrically driven songs rich with vocal harmonies.
Using crowd-funding website IndieGogo to raise the $11 000 needed, Lakes recorded “Toll the Bell”, their debut full-length album, at Foxhole Studios, produced by Christopher Fox of Montreal-based Folly & the Hunter. The band is currently gearing up for their next LP. Lakes changed and grew significantly since their humble beginnings, and are excited and encouraged by all the positive feedback. Winners of the Greenland music “Band of the Fringe” award at the 2012 Montreal Fringe Festival, the Montreal-based quintet have enjoyed successful performances at POP Montreal, CMW, Festival Folk sur la Canal (opening for Old Man Luedecke and The Sadies), Montreal Fringe Fest, and NXNE (among CBC’s picks of the festival). Lakes of Canada are now hunkering down for pre-production mode in anticipation of a fall recording at Breakglass Studios (w/ producer Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes).