“They may be the city’s best-kept secret. Their unique, compelling brand of pop rock is turning heads. One day you’ll be saying ‘I saw them when they were only…’” –Ottawa Magazine
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“There is a woeful lack of Céline Dion covers by other Canadian bands. Pony Girl has recorded one of the best.” –CBC Music
“Pure magic to see live.” –Ottawa Showbox
“Pony Girl ended up drawing quite a large crowd even while big acts, like J. Cole, were playing the main stage… the support that crowd gave was one for the books.” –Ride The Tempo
“Holy moly. I am sorry I slept on Pony Girl so long. Their set in Halifax this weekend at The Seahorse was 100.” –Halifax is Burning
“Quite astonishing to experience in person.” –Exclaim!
“Un bijoux caché à la programmation.” –Sorstu.ca
“La foule a semblé apprécier aussi, trop occupée à écouter le spectacle pour papoter. Une belle découverte” –Écoutedonc.ca
You have two voices: what you desire and what you choose. Unite them and you’ll find balance. Distance them and you’ll enter a foreign life. A life lived without people getting to know you. A life apart from your real self.
Pony Girl masterfully explore the tension between what we want and what we have on their sophomore album Foreign Life. Guy-girl pop vocals score the foreign lives we create when we cheat on a partner (“Adultery”), lose a friend (“No God”), force a smile (“Foreign Life I”), and further divides separating who we are from how we live. Pascal Huot and Yolande Laroche’s alluring harmony is our paradox as we struggle to close the distance.
Cascading guitars, pulsing beats, and electronic hums colour these stories with extraordinary kaleidoscopic twists and turns. Chords punctuate thoughts. Silences make regret linger. Strings swell with emotion. Foreign Life is a soundtrack to our common memory so vivid, so raw, so urgent that to listen is to relive.
The Ottawa collective of Huot, Laroche, Julien Dussault, Greggory Clark and Jeff Kingsbury have captivated audiences at festivals including FEQ, Arboretum, Ottawa Bluesfest, CityFolk, Ottawa Jazz Festival, and on tour in Canada. Performances thrill as much as mesmerize.
“Cinematic and intense.” –Ottawa Magazine
“Generously rewards multiple spins.” –CBC Music
“9/10. Pony Girl’s best work yet.” –Exclaim!
“Each note is inhabited with meaning, chasing not just a sound, but also a reason for its particular existence.” –Grayowl Point
“Wonderful, detailed production.” –Ottawa Showbox
“Otherworldly.” –Quick Before It Melts
“So beautiful.” –Ride The Tempo
Debut release Show Me Your Fears transitions, even through genres, without attracting attention to the breaks in song, so that the album has nearly run its course before you realize “Sun of the Morning” has long been over.
One track to really jolt your senses is “Guardian,” a two-minute instrumental that reminds me, of all things, of a Disney music bed. While the song builds up slowly through the whistling of a flute, it bursts out with frequent, frantic notes on the cello, pulling me back to my childhood of hand drawn animation.
In contrast, “Better Days” is a hypnotic synth track with vocals that encourage you to drift away with the rhythmically dripping beat – and then just like that the song gathers force before relinquishing it once again, moving in and out. The transitions can catch you by surprise once you realized they’re all contained within a six-minute song held together by a recurring chorus.
The songs on Show Me Your Fears change more within themselves than they do between each other—deftly transitioning between synth-driven dreamer tracks, and more folk-pop indie. It’s a varied debut that offers up plenty without ever overwhelming, where each novel piece is tucked in and framed by a chorus or a tone that centres it within the album.
“In pedestrian terms, they’re ‘artsy’. In musical terms, they’re astonishing.” –The Revue
“Showing off the band’s ability to push the boundaries that define ‘pop-rock’ the album creates something inherently cinematic. Listeners will hear unique boy/girl harmonies, delicate guitar licks, varied instrumentation, intense rhythms and tight arrangements that create a fluid flow of emotional response.” –Mixtape Magazine
“Pony Girl is one of the most interesting bands to cross The Halifax Musicphile’s path since the blog’s inception.” –The Halifax Musicphile
“I’m proud to say one of the most intriguing records I’ve heard so far this year has come from my hometown.” –Music Notes
Pascal Huot – Lyrics, Vocals, Guitar
Yolande Laroche – Clarinet, Vocals, Keys
Julien Dussault – Guitar, Electronics
Greggory Clark – Electric Bass
Jeff Kingsbury – Drums, Marimba