The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night
Pinko Punko posted this on Song of the Day earlier in the year, and if you click through to that link, you can see my love for this album evolve in the comments. There was a good three week period when I was listening to this album all the way through at least once or twice every day. It's an album that really grows on you, and while individual songs on the album are great, it's really an album that needs to be listened to start to finish.
The Besnard Lakes sit kind of at the intersection of prog and shoegaze. A couple songs, 'Glass Printer' and the album's best track 'And This Is What We Call Progress' sound like they could have come off one of the first two Catherine Wheel albums. They're a Canadian band whose main feature is the husband and wife pair of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas. They're also a bit unique in that Lasek is spends much of the time singing in a falsetto, at a higher pitch than his wife.
Lasek also produced the album, and his experience shows. He's worked with other Canadian bands Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown, and his ability at the soundboard is every bit as evident as his talent as a songwriter. A few of the songs are fairly long ('Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent', 'the Land of Living Skies', and 'Light Up the Night), but they all reward patient listeners with terrific payoffs. And of course, it's got the best Chicago themed song since Spoon's 'Chicago at Night'. It's really an album worth a few listens.
And This Is What We Call Progress
Last Train to Chicago