Ottawa duo of Connor Mercury and Alex Black, better known as Goodnight Boy, have released their self-titled debut album.
The album, for which the duo play all the instruments and do all the vocals, was inspired by an abandoned island in the Rideau Lakes. “It was abandoned – in terms of building on it – in the 60’s and is now considered crown land. We have a friend whose grandfather cared for it for the owners family for decades. Now that his grandfather has passed, the owner allows us to camp on it –- as we are very respectful of the history and clean up after trespassers,” says Black.
“I started camping there with friends years ago and when I brought Connor there and told him about the history, he was fascinated. I loved that he was so inspired by the history as well.”
The lone chimney that still stand on the island, the only structure that remains.
Connor Mercury was clearly very inspired by the island and it’s history. “The island is said to be haunted and that is where the idea for the characters of The Soldier and Olivia came from. The island has been home to a WWI PTSD camp and it’s said some of the soldiers committed suicide there. There was also a girl guide camp there in the 60’s that burned down. Tiny island – big history!”
Connor continued to explain that “the fire always comes to mind first when I think of the island, but the pain of war was there first. Looking back now, you can’t blame anyone for what happened there. The island – in all its tranquility – was supposed to be a place for broken men to heal after battle. It didn’t happen that way of course, because isolation, even in the most peaceful of surroundings can be fatal when the mind isn’t well. Some people believe that pain stayed with the island, festering there. Some people even believe it was the spirits of those men who caused the fire that night, decades later. Innocent young girl guides who knew nothing of the island would become seared into its already dark history. The island was again the site of tragedy and death. It’s been almost a century since the soldiers left and more than 50 years since the fire. I don’t know about ghosts, but I know a chimney still stands.”
With the combination of mystery and ghost stories at its foundation, Goodnight Boy’s 15 song self-titled album is one to be listened to from start to finish. It is a work of grunge and lo-fi rock rooted in folk principals of story telling and spirited emotion. Having seen them play many of the songs live before to hearing the recording, I have had the amazing luxury to witness a band truly growing up. The band is very happy with the results, and Black mentions “we really hope to grow the live band – it’s a dream to be able to perform this huge like on the album.”
“Olivia” and “Morals” above are two examples of the impress depth that Goodnight Boy have reached on their first album. My favourite track, however, is the haunting and powerful “Out On The Lake” where both Alex and Connor’s voices amaze and then give you shivers while the finger picking and percussion transports you to this haunted place of despair. Goodnight Boy haven’t posted the full album online yet, but you can pick it up at both Compact Music location or from the band themselves.
Most people would spend 4 hours watching a Seinfeld marathon or playing Candy Crush on their smartphones, but not for Edgar ‘Eddie Quotez’ Piol. He wrote, mixed, and recorded his latest EP Kawaii in the same amount of time you’ve probably spent on Tumblr today.
Ed’s signature lyrical style and instrumentals make for an amazing 13 minute auditory experience. The beats on this EP are extremely high quality and have some nightcore influence mixed with classic b-boy sampling techniques. The album starter Marble Soda kicks-off the album with a high energy pump-up anthem with some Sailor Moon and Full Metal Alchemist references. The second track Promise brings some mellow chillwave which contrasts nicely with the first track, but without losing the album’s momentum. Streamers is almost like a mix between the first and second track. It has a very bubbly instrumental with a solid hook where Ed drops a catchy verse, which leads into a rising-elevator style build-up with a hyped up pitch shifted vocal.
Sprinkler-style high hats, chopped classical guitar, and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island samples is the best way to sum up Long Distance, adding an almost faux west coast track to the album. My personal favorite off of the EP We Should Just Be Friends is a track by ‘Ed’ unlike the others which are credited to ‘Eddie Quotez’, making this track seem to be a bit more personal. What really makes the track is the soft piano introduction followed by melodic guitar and finger snaps. Ed’s voice is absolutely beautiful on this track, and makes a great finisher for the EP. If you’re a fan of rap, or just anime and gaming culture, you should definitely check out Eddie Quotez’s Kawaii, and think about what you could do in 4 hours next time you’re being beckoned to the television screen. Have a listen to the EP below.
Creep Wave have something to share with you. At first, I perceived it as merely a piece of cake, but as I cut into it I saw something else – something much more substantial. The Ottawa based group’s EP Winter Sucks begins with a thin slice of melodically frosted pop punk guitar, which is joined at full force by the hurried, driving pound of the rhythm section. Immediately the head nods, the sun shines and we are in a place that we have been to before. But then, of course, comes the opening line, as vocalist Brittany Neron asks,“why don’t you smile?”. The album’s first cut, ‘”Cat Call”,should become a permanent installation on the streets of Ottawa, so next time when some seedy bastard passes unsolicited comment on a woman’s appearance, she can point towards one of the mounted speakers before telling him to fuck off. It is a frustrated and poignant reply to this kind of street harassment, told with wit and a sneer; a refreshing burst of personal commentary that carries with it great social significance. This is exactly the kind of voice we need to hear in punk today.
Essentially punk musicians, and to a similar extent all artists, should continually strive to re-invent the genre in which they are working, and if they are acting with an honest intention, they will succeed and carry with them a mark of personal innovation. Some choose to eschew the traditional forms of rock to seek new voice in experimentation, some choose to share original voices that are reflective of a personal struggle within a particular culture that is in need of re-invention. With “Cat Call”, I feel that Creep Wave have touched on to something special.
Elsewhere on the album we are buffeted about by tiny storms of power-pop and surf-inflected garage rock. Angst and melody co-exist with a mercurial sense of playfulness. “Sick Note” is a brilliant spray of attitude across a rollicking tom-roll; surf-trash for urban living, and anyone alive in Ottawa will understand “Outside”, the seasonal affective track that harkens to the title of the EP.
Winter Sucks is a tight, bright ray of sweet sunshine shone down to cut through the murk of a February afternoon. There is much here to recommend, in particular the first track which, when taken together with the energy and integrity of their sound, points to a promising future for Creep Wave.
Catch Creep Wave, Cheap Wine and The Disasterbaters at House of TARG this Friday, February 5th, event here.
Frédéric Levac chante et joue le clavier dans le band franco-ontarien Pandaléon, un trio electro, rock alternatif basé à Saint-Bernardin. Ce vendredi, le 29 janvier, ils lançeront leur deuxième album Atone, un LP enregistré dans une école abandonnée où Frédéric et son frère, le batteur Jean-Philippe, ont été comme ti-culs.
La semaine d’avant, Pandaléon à remporter trois prix au Contact Ontarois, un événement vitrine de musique francophone. En discutant le Prix du Festival international de la chanson de Granby, le Prix Festival Franco-ontarien, et le Prix Festival de l’Outaouais Émergent Prix ROSEQ, Frédéric a dit: « Honnêtement on le fais pas pour gagner des prix, on le fais pour que le monde trippe sur notre musique pis qu’ils aiment le show. »
Dit comme un vrai fan de la musique. Les deux frères et le guitariste Marc-André Labelle vous invitent au lancement d’album gratuit dans le théâtre de la Court des Arts le 4 février.
Il y a beaucoup de référence à la bouche, aux lèvres, à la langue sur Atone. Pourquoi?
Pour moi personnellement, ces sujets—de bouche, de lèvre, de gencives—ils m’allument beaucoup. C’est une bonne remarque parce qu’il sont partout mais c’est quand même subtile. Peut-être que c’est arrivé par hasard…
Que veulent dire les paroles de la chanson « Banny »?
Dans cette chanson, c’est à propos de la langue qu’on parle, le langage. Ça parle de relations humaines de partout dans le monde, et d’un voyage en Australie. Nous nous sommes retrouvés là, des gens de l’Indonésie, de l’Israël, des États, de l’Allemagne, et on ne se parlait pas vraiment. Mais on se comprenait en regardant le ciel—le ciel le plus éclatant que j’ai jamais vu de ma vie. Ça nous disais beaucoup de choses.
Que veulent dire les parole de la dernière chanson, « Atone »?
Le vide engourdit mieux
Que la distance
Tu n’es revenue que pour repartir
Simplement, des fois avoir rien c’est mieux que d’avoir quelque chose mais au loin. De toutes les 10 chansons, c’est la seule pièce qui prend place au présent, puisque que c’est vraiment un album qui parle du passé. Mais le thème de non seulement quelqu’un qui part, mais aussi qu’il y a quelqu’un qui reste là, ce thème est là.
Qui a eu l’idée d’enregistrer votre album dans la vieille petite école?
Mon frère Jean-Philippe, le drummer, et moi on y est aller a cette école. Ça été abandonner et on passait souvent par là, parce que c’est proche de chez nous et on y est allez à cette école. On disait qu’on devrait enregistrer là, y’a plein de places à capter des sons avec des micros. Parce qu’on trippe vraiment là dessus! Alors on attendait juste le bon moment.
Pendant un an et demi on écrivait des chansons qui avait de plus en plus à faire avec la petite école. Alors on a pris des démarches pour avoir accès pour un mois, au mois d’août. On s’est enfermé là pendant cinq semaines. C’était un peu comme du camping. Nous trois avec notre enregistreur Nicolas Séguin.
Est-ce que les chansons instrumentale « Lecture » et « Pythagore » ont été enregistrées dans les salles de lecture et des maths?
Oui et non. « Lecture » c’est une pièce en qui recrée l’effet de marcher dans les couloirs de l’école et d’entendre les profs à travers les portes, tu les entends mais pas clairement. C’est l’expérience de prendre une marche dans le couloir de l’école, créé par une tonne de bruits bizarres.
Pour « Pythagore » on a enregistré une centaine de portes qui ferme, au moins. Oui, on adore ça le son. Vraiment, on est sorti de là non seulement avec l’album mais aussi en ayant eu le temps d’essayer plein de choses. On a fais plein d’expériences qui sont pas sur l’album parce qu’ils marchaient pas, mais au moins on a pu les essayer.
Ça été une expérience très enrichissante.
Avez-vous eu des rêves bizarres?
Même pas malheureusement! Bein j’veux dire oui, parce qu’on a tous des rêves bizarres tout le temps. Mais la première nuit, c’était bizarre, on se demandait si l’école était peut-être hantée. Finalement rien ne s’est passé d’anormale. Ça a été un feeling très spécial d’y retourner, et en plus de ça faire ce qu’on aime le plus dans la vie dans cet endroit la. On était vraiment excité d’y avoir accès et on a revécu plein de vieux souvenir.
Est-ce que la photo de la pochette vient d’un des murs des couloirs?
Plus précisément dans la salle de bain des filles! J’ai remarqué le croquis et notre photographe aussi mais on s’est rien dit que dans la dernière semaine là. Il y avait un genre de croquis en arrière de la peinture. On sait pas c’est quoi… mais c’est un petit dessin super intriguant. Finalement c’est devenu la pochette.
To the North is Lora Bidner’s first album, but she’s no stranger to the local music scene. The Ottawa native has performed at Ottawa Folkfest and Musik Ottawa, and collaborated with local musicians such as Raphael Weinroth-Browne of Flying Hörses and The Visit, who accompanies Bidner on the record. The album contains nine tracks, including a collaboration with JustJamaal ThePoet in “Ignite.”
The Carleton University music program graduate is clearly a multi-talented artist, who plays piano, guitar, ukulele, and synth on top of her vocals. The album, which was produced entirely in Ottawa, is an impressive feat for a solo singer-songwriter. While the songs vary slightly in speed and tone, each track flows seamlessly into the next. The more upbeat songs have the modern folk vibe of Young the Giant or Of Monsters and Men, but produce a more earthy sound caused by prominent strings. The distinct presence of violin adds to the haunting elements of many tracks.
What’s most impressive of the record is Bidner’s ability to manipulate her voice to perfectly suit not only her accompaniments, but also her lyrics and the general tone of each individual song. She has a soft, eerie voice, similar to Béatrice Martin’s of Coeur de Pirate. While the record is definitely emotive, her singing is calming and helps to create a highly intricate album that remains perfectly whole. Bidner’s seamless collection of tracks feels both emotional and uplifting, that is sure to give any listener a cathartic musical experience.
Yes, believe it or not – Ottawa’s got soul. On a chilly Friday in January, many of us braved the cold and trekked down to Rideau Street in order to congregate at the small, but tried-and-true Café Dekcuf. One thing about this place is that it isn’t a venue that most music patrons in the scene tend to visit often. Maybe it gets a bad rap for whatever reason, being somewhat awkwardly located directly above Mavericks. It’s also pretty chilly and drafty in the winter. However, since I started Showbox nearly four years ago, I can’t think of one bad show I’ve seen there. This night was no exception.
The lot of us were in for a night of funk, soul, and RnB jams. It was also a night of old and new, as soul music veterans Old Stereo and DJ Magnificent (Double Barrel) were also on the bill. Needless to say, the excitement was building. The drinks were flowing, and Magnificent was setting the tone by spinning his most excellent collection of funky 45s.
Slack Bridges is a brand new super group of sorts. Frontman Matt Gilmour (vocals), as with the other three guys in the band, have been involved in Ottawa’s music community for a long time. He has been involved in Ottawa’s punk and hardcore scene for over a decade in various capacities, playing in bands such as HAMILTON, I Refuse, We The Accused, and more recently, Heavy Bedroom.
Garett Barr (bass guitar) is a talented multi-instrumentalist, and previously lent his skills to bands Mackenzie Rhythm Section and Tea for the Voyage. Currently, Barr also plays guitar and ukelele in the rising folk group STEAMERS, and teaches music relentlessly through Big ARTS. Paul Ross (drums) has played in many bands, but more recently played in the long standing indie-rock act, The Gallop.
Marcus Ward (keys) is a seasoned piano player, who has played in The Ethics and currently plays in a ‘yacht-rock’ cover group called PleasureCraft alongside Dave Lauzon of Lauzon Music and Matt Corbiere of Winchester Warm. Chris Elms (guitar) is a master of his craft, and has played in numerous blues and soul acts over the years. In his younger days, he even lent his beat-making and production skills to a few tracks featuring the Tupac-era California rap group The Outlawz.
Needless to say, this band contains some experience.
As the band took their positions on stage, there was excitement and nervousness in there air – no one really knew what to expect. These are great musicians, but who knew where this new direction would take them and what it would sound like? The first measure of the opening track “Beholden” put our anxieties at ease and soothed our minds, bodies, and souls. James’ intricate guitar flares and Barr’s groovy, funk-laden bass lines immediately got the bodies moving on the floor in front of them.
Cue Gilmour’s vocals. Who knew that a guy who cut his teeth in the early 2000’s underground punk and hardcore scenes could belt out soulful, RnB-inspired vocal melodies? Those close to him know that he’s been experimenting with this kind of vocal style for a while now, particularly in his other project Gold Bonds. Slack Bridges is a clear progression for him musically, as he seemed to easily shake off his nerves and explode with vocal energy. His vocals are unique, and he displayed an incredible amount of control as the songs were played live for the first time. Not to mention the sound in Dekcuf was on-point.
Other notable tracks that stood out were “Lion City”, “Smile But It’s Been a While”, and the irresistibly catchy “On My Wings.” One special treat during the set was their cover of “Between the Sheets” by The Isley Brothers, a song which is sampled often but rarely done so well on stage. The night was a success, and Slack Bridges have given us a taste of things to come.
I spoke to Gilmour about his past, and what drove him to form Slack Bridges.
Ottawa’s music community has been my primary binding force through which I’ve met innumerable creative people and learned some great lessons about community building. I’ve been making weird music for a while. With that in mind, I have always thought of music composition in a rather cerebral sense. Studying my fellow artists is how I’ve been inspired to challenge myself, while imitating pop culture is how I learned to have fun.
Soul and R&B music has been no exception. As an adult I had sung R&B ballads at karaoke to get a laugh from my friends, but as a child I grew up singing along to the first two Stevie Wonder and Boyz II Men records I had bought long before I knew the punk tradition existed. After some of my bands dissipated, it made experimenting with soul and R&B music more seriously in Slack Bridges and Gold Bonds a natural frontier for further exploration. I’m enjoying the ride.
The new album by wotts, b, breathes a hopeful new life into the local hip hop scene here in Ottawa. Released on November 25 and produced by Alex Jakimczuk, the new album by wotts features a number of capital city rappers. The background mix of beat-boxing and sultry electric guitar combined with razor sharp verses makes b the most intriguing and original rap album I have heard in years.
Starting off with the track “clonewars” listener is treated to an earful of aggressive vocals instantly reminding you of the original gangsta rap greats like N.W.A and Nas. Then the beat spits alongside a low-key guitar solo making for an atmospheric foray into verbal-rhythmics. Track two, “bombeh” starts off with slow guitar picking reminiscent of classic southern rock mixed with a west coast surf vibe. About a minute in the song breaks away from the chill groove and goes down the path of anxiety. Harsh effects and harsher vocals bring a rave feel to the game.
The mix up then goes right back down to slow, keeping the ear drums vibrating. “musings 1 [interlude]”, “the drill” and “musings 2 [interlude]” keep the jams coming with wotts’ innovative mix of sounds and words. The group changes it up with “omens [feat. Dynamite Motel]” starting the song off with an a capella trumpet sound, if you didn’t know better you would swear its actual brass sounding and not just lips. The hook is crisp and a clear homage to classic R&B hooks not unlike Faith Evans. The song breaks down into a duet between the beautifully clean singing and the beat-boxed trumpet; I can safely say I have never heard anything like it before.
Wotts brings back the same energy we felt at the opening and combines it with the eccentricities we as listeners have learned and come to love throughout the record. “Hotter than a Molotov,” bumpin’ out of the speakers with that gnarly guitar in its wake. The guest spots are poignant and well placed, adding a nice flair to the last track. Finishing off strong, I can think of no better way to end an album then a squealing guitar solo.
b is the follow up to wott’s December 2014 debut a, and I hope we don’t have to wait another year for c.
Moonfruits are quickly finding a place among Ottawa’s standout performers. The married couple, Alex Millaire and Kaitlin Milroy, have thrown themselves into touring our small city, playing venues large and small. This fall they were among the acts featured at CityFolk’s Marvest. Their energy, their attitude, and their smiles are irresistible. And then, of course, there is their music.
If Moonfruits’ music brings one word to mind, it is honesty. Their revitalized take on folk music is earnest and engaged. It is a kind of music that takes its power from the moment of performance. The songs themselves are simple, pure. They are almost a blank canvas upon which the performers can paint emotions.
This is something that Moonfruits do exceptionally well. Live, their sets are focused and present—they own the room they play. They have great chemistry on the stage, revealing so much of themselves and their relationship. When I first listened to their album Début, I was sceptical as to whether the spontaneous, engaged quality of their performances would translate into recorded form.
And while it is a far cry from having Millaire and Milroy play a live set in your living room, it replicates the experience in miniature. The intimacy is there. This is likely due to the way in which the album was recorded. Everything was recorded live off the floor. Nothing was added in post production, giving the recording a very connected feeling. You can sense that everything is happening at the same time.
When I asked Millaire about the way in which it was recorded, he noted that this simplicity was one of the main goals.
“It’s just the two of us,” he said. “It’s really boiled down to the essentials.”
Milroy added that the idea was to get an honest picture of them as a couple and as a band at a specific moment in time.
“It captured honestly where we were at the time,” she said.
This honest, immediate quality is especially present on what I feel is the album’s strongest song, “Amalfi.” This song is a slow build, performed beautifully by Milroy and Millaire, and one that absolutely requires live off the floor recording. It’s not something that could be laid down over many takes. The power of the song comes from the way in which voices play off each other in real time. You can almost see the two performers watching each other for the cues as the song builds to its impressive crescendo.
Interestingly, one of the album’s main themes seems to be maintaining that sense of presence in one’s own life. With songs like “Enjoy Yourself” and “Rotterdam,” the lyrics seem to ask the listener to examine their life, and to truly experience it. A fitting theme for an album that demands attention the way Début does. While all of the tracks feature only one guitar and two vocals, it is in the intricacies of the performances that the beauty of the album is found.
If the album has a flaw it is that it features far too little Moonfruits. On the one hand it is quite short. On the other, four of the songs are covers. They are great covers, and interesting interpretations of old folk and children’s songs, but the stronger parts of the album are their original offerings.
For a debut, Début is at the very least a harbinger of more great Moonfruits music to come. It is a great listen, and one that that makes me pretty excited to hear more from them. The album was released in 2014, and has carried the band pretty far. But I eagerly anticipate their next album, which, if the rumours I’ve heard are true, is soon to be on its way.
You can listen to and buy Moonfruits’ Début below.
How many artists can you name that have dropped 50 records? Probably not too many, especially ones with the same quality and flavour as the highly anticipated Soul Spins, by talented local producer and two-time Ottawa Beat League champJeepz. Within the last 3 years, Jeepz has created a rich discography with Soul Spins adding a well-deserved celebratory vibe to this true milestone in his career. Sharing the album’s stage with 25 artists from Canada and beyond, there’s plenty of familiar and fresh voices to hear on the soulful tracks found on Soul Spins, with plenty of love for the frozen tundra’s hip-hop scene. It’s a difficult task trying to express the ideas of an album with such magnitude and diversity. So I’ve created a list, breaking down the first 3 of 17 tracks and stating my initial thoughts when going into the record for the first time.
Proem [Ft. Just Jamaal the Poet]
A classic scratch followed by a sampled interview question layered over a vintage jazz piano introduces Jamaal’s strong lyrical flow. The heavy bassline and kick keep the vibe going while the Poet speaks of motivation and how the mind sets it’s own obstacles to overcome. Proem has the perfect tone to start up the album, demonstrating Jeepz signature ‘vintage-meets-modern’ sound.
Blu Moon [Ft. Blu]
An eerie siren contrasts with a sexy 70s funk sample found in the background like a Tarantino film. As the siren fades, a crisp boom-bap drum jumps through the smooth guitar riff and saxophone ballad, which really brings Blu Moon to a sort of KRS-One level. Blu’s vocals have a smooth yet aggressive style, that blend well with the instrumentals, but still have enough bite to stand alone.
My personal favorite on the record, Check the Resumé comes swinging with a solid upright bass in a House of Pain styling. As a 3-Osc buzzes discreetly through the atmosphere of the track, Grand, Hyf, and Raul drop some solid bars overtop of the hard-hitting and classic Soul Searchers’ break Ashley’s Roachclip. At the 0:46 mark, an unexpected yet definitely welcomed string sample oozes into Hyf’s verse, that adds new dimensions to the track which ends with a bass-heavy breakdown that satisfyingly finishes off the track.
The other 14 tracks share the same amount of quality, lush beats and thought provoking vocals as the first 3 I’ve listed, which include guest appearances from Ghettosocks, Nilla, Mayoori, Shaun Carlo, Sawbuck, DJ So Nice, City Fidelia, Just Poets, Eddie Brock, Kay Flow, Jvon Bishop Lawrence, Kanoe, Lisa Fowler, Beaugé, Cannon2x, Prufrock Shadowrunner, Apollo the Child, Lisa Fowler, Jenna Whiteley, and King Kimbit.
For $0.29 a track ($5.00 for the whole album), you need to pick up this record, especially if you’re a fan of classic soul and funk, mixed with millennial realness. You can find Soul Spins and the rest of Jeepz discography here.
Foreign Life opens like a newspaper, words and images materialize before the eyes and vanish instantly, leaving you with a trace of their meaning. Distant voices fade in, thoughts like wisps of smoke curl off of a buoyant electronic pulse, compelling you to let the paper fall and dream deep in your armchair. But Pony Girl (So Sorry Recs) know about your attention span, and they will make sure you listen. The motorik beat that occurs around the halfway mark of album opener “Foreign Life I”feels like a logical extension of the dreamy waves that precede it. Right away one is introduced to the painterly aesthetic of Pony Girl and the palette they will use on this album.
Foreign Life, the sophomore album from the Ottawa band, is a collage of emotion and style, well lit and finely mounted. Each song a small canvas with a dramatic point of focus, be it rolling acoustic guitar, electronic beat or voice. Sugary pop tunes leap out of synthscapes and run naked through your ears. Pony Girl appear to have passed through the recent New Folk movement carrying a pastel distillation of its crucial elements. The elegant arrangement of acoustic and electronic, the sighing winds and the seething synths, it harks familiar yet is presented in a uniquely stream-lined form.
Of the 14 tracks, each runs under five minutes, and each explores different possibilities within the band’s singular aesthetic vision. It is a fine way to dress the themes of joining, separation and domestic treachery that recur throughout. “Dirty Pictures” presents its sordid tale as from a flickering projector, a metronomic beat threads its way through the flashes of guitar chords in strobing stutters. The instrumental “Hamady” with its plaintive lull of wind and strings could be the intro to a lost Nouvelle Vague film from the 60s. The band moves through these styles with a keen ear for progression and sonic narrative, the jumps never feel forced.
The album was recorded and produced by the bandmembers themselves and what impresses most is the control they exercise over the songs. Whereas artworks often blur to the eyes of their artists after so long staring, here Pony Girl practises quiet restraint, leaving plenty of sonic space for their songs to slide through. For all its wonderful, detailed production, however, I found the minimal “Demon Dream” to be the album’s most powerful moment. The simple self-accompaniment and lo-fi, faded quality lends an immediate frailty to the song, as though poised at the edge of collapse, and makes lyrics like “pictures in my head, of people from the past” perfectly connected in the instance of performance.
Foreign Life is an album alive with colour and light, even at its darkest moments. I’d wager a Colville coin that this isn’t the last we’ll hear of Pony Girl. Have a listen below.
Purchase the digital, CD, and vinyl LP copies of Pony Girl’s Foreign Life on their Bandcamp site here.