It’s clear where the intimacy comes from on Detour de Force, Barenaked Ladies’ latest LP. Foundationally, the album is perhaps one of the rawest efforts from BNL in over a decade. However, it does offer a very unique blend of off-the-floor vibes, combined with a very polished and deliberate big-record feel. This is owing to the fact that the band took somewhat of a detour themselves in making the record as the pandemic hit, electing to take the songs they recorded at the cottage, and subsequently bring them to Toronto’s Noble Street and Vespa Studios with Canadian rock stalwart Eric Ratz for further production.
Robertson continues, “I think we thought that would be the record, just a very live off-the-floor snapshot of where we’re at. The lockdown actually allowed us the luxury of time to listen back. You know, we thought we were going to go in with Eric and maybe just do a couple of the production-heavy tracks like ‘Good Life’ and ‘Roll Out,’ and ended up going over the record again, using loads of elements from what we recorded here,” referring to his cottage from where he joined me for our chat. He points out, however, that some songs like “Live Well” and “Man Made Lake” are still very much just “four guys in a room playing. There’s an alchemy to that sort of live energy that’s really special.”