The Besnard Lakes raise immediate comparisons to the Arcade Fire, but those are primarily due to accidents of geography and band chemistry: like the Arcade Fire, the Besnard Lakes are from Montreal and led by a married couple. That’s largely where the similarities end, because if this Quebecois collective resembles any of its Canadian counterparts, it would be as an unexpectedly effective combination of the Dears’ psychedelic pop hooks and the languid space rock ambience of early Broken Social Scene.

Montreal greats The Besnard Lakes are back with their first album in five years, titled The Besnard Lakes Are the last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings. It is the group’s grandest statement yet, a 72-minute double album where songs flow into one another across four suites: “Near Death,” “Death,” “After Death,” and “Life.”

Living Hour’s expansive, gentle and slow indie rock is distinguished by yearning melodies, transient polyrhythms, and a dreamy instrument palette that includes heavenly interlocking guitars, casiotone keyboards, and brass. Floating over these warm sparkles of sound are Sam Sarty’s emotive lead vocals, which are intoxicatingly smokey and vulnerable.

Living Hour recorded their early songs with friend and producer Riley Hill in the west end of their hometown, Winnipeg, Canada. Their self-titled debut album was released on cassette in early 2016 on Bloomington’s Tree Machine Records, introducing the band’s cinematic sound and propelling years of DIY touring in Canada, USA, and Europe. Their 2019 album, Softer Faces, was released by Brooklyn’s Kanine Records with the production by Kurt Feldman and Jarvis Taveniere.