“An epic rich in detail and passion, Lakes of Canada have a Canadian classic on their hands with Transgressions. 9/10″ – Exclaim!
“The songs stand on their own and some, like the final title track, deserve a permanent place in the Canadian songbook.” – CBC Music
“covers a lot of ground, musically and emotionally.” – The Globe and Mail
“The music is energetically grandiose, with choral and orchestral folk-rock evoking the classical origins of the concept album in oratorios and orchestral tone poems.” – The National Post
“It’s almost as if there’s a common, explicable, perceivable bond between dystopian literature and music made about a dreary fucked-up future. Maybe there is. Or maybe Lakes of Canada stumbled upon something big here.” -The Huffington Post
Founded in 2011 in Montreal, Lakes of Canada is a four piece progressive pop group with gospel and soul vocal harmonies featuring: Jake Smith on lead vocals, guitar, keys, and percussion, Sarah Morasse on vocals, keys, percussion, and organ, Conor O’Neil on drums, vocals, and keys, and Caleb Smith on bass, keys, vocals, guitar, and percussion.
Lakes of Canada has held the #2 most pretentious band in the CULT Montreal reader’s poll for 5 years running (we’re coming for you Arcade Fire) and were voted the #3 best band in MTL in the same poll this year. They have performed across Canada and been featured at Festivals including: POP Montreal, Canadian Music Week, Festival Folk sur la Canal, M for Montreal, NXNE, and Osheaga. In 2012 they won Best Band of the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. Transgressions won best Traditional/Roots album at the 2016 GAMIQ awards. Conor O’Neil and Jake Smith also recently won album of the year Juno awards, and won Rock Performance of the year Grammy Awards for their work on Leonard Cohen’s final record You Want it Darker.
Lakes of Canada released their second album, Transgressions, inspired by Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, on October 16th, 2015, followed by a tour throughout Eastern Canada. Transgressions was produced by Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes, Arcade Fire, Patrick Watson, Young Galaxy) at Breakglass Studio in Montreal. They released Transgressions Acoustic in the fall of 2016 and will be releasing their third full-length record, We Will Outlive the Sun in October, 2018.
Their debut album Toll the Bell was released in 2012.
Members of the Band
Jake Smith – (Lead Vocals, Guitars, Songwriting, Various Percussion) Started singing at the age of 5 and went on to sing in competitive small ensembles and choirs. Studied as a soloist (with Bill Reed, Chuck Schneider, Lauri Young, and Amy Williams) from 15 on and Majored in Musical Theatre Performance (with a double minor in Psychopathology and Classical Literature) at Wagner College in NYC. He played clarinet in the VYO for several years and later picked up Piano and then Guitar. He sings as a Tenor section leader in the world renowned Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir under the direction of Stephen Glass. He has studied guitar with Tim Dobby and also has taught himself Ukulele, Charango, and Mountain Dulcimer. Jake is currently training to be a ninja astronaut.
Conor O’Neil – (Vocals, Drums, Synth, Vocal Arrangements) began his lifelong love-affair with music at age 5. Having painstakingly completed his Master’s Degree in Music Composition for Film and Other Media at Université de Montréal, Conor’s current projects outside of Lakes of Canada include: booking agent for Montreal-based record label Poule Neige; singing in both the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue and St-John-the- Evangelist Church choirs; hosting events as instructing artist for PaintNite.com; and occasional freelance composition and arrangement. Conor’s non-professional interests include cheese, being right, flirting, and kitties.
Sarah Morasse – (Vocals, Piano, Organ, Synths) has a degree in theater, but she grew up amongst a real musical family and has this natural and much-envied ability to learn a musical instrument in a couple of days! Well-known for her razor-sharp wit and stunning stage presence, Sarah appeared in a great number of theatrical productions, namely Alice au pays des merveilles (Wimbo Théâtre), with which she performed at various venues in France and Canada.
Caleb Smith – (Vocals, Bass, Guitar) Began playing music at the age of 5 playing fiddle but switched to Double Bass at the age of 12. At 18 he moved to Montreal, studying classical bass with Ali Yazdanfar at McGill University. When he isn’t collaborating musically with artists in Montreal, he also enjoys filming himself and other people (generally playing music). No, he is not Jake’s younger brother…