PONY GIRL – Electronic Press Kit
Photo: Curtis Perry
Photo: Curtis Perry
Enny One Wil Love You (2022), the Ottawa-Hull band’s Paper Bag Records debut, holds a mirror to our negative cycles for an album that’s as alluring as self-sabotage. The album received a record-high six nominations for Capital Music Awards and won the awards for Single of the Year and Video of the Year (“Age of Anxious”). Pascal Huot and Yolande Laroche’s duets anchor it all, wonderfully illuminating the inner worlds of imperfect characters.
Laff It Off (2023), Pony Girl’s sophomore album for Paper Bag Records casts the warm light of golden hour onto their artpop, guiding characters who are floating towards hope. Laff It Off urges you to let go, a playful departure from the shade of its sister album Enny One Wil Love You.
Pony Girl is a kaleidoscope of pop unlike any other, turning everyday life into mesmerizing melodies, rock and electronic production. In true indie fashion, the Ottawa-Hull collective self-released their first two records Show Me Your Fears (2013) and Foreign Life (2015) before signing with Paper Bag Records to unveil two new records. Pony Girl’s early releases on their own label, So Sorry Records, are worth your time. They went on to receive Le Prix FEQ emerging artist award in 2016 for their musicality and stagecraft—and it shows. Multi-genre and multi-faceted, Pony Girl will command your adoration.
“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
Label – firstname.lastname@example.org
CA Distribution – Fontana North
Ex-CA Distribution – The Orchard
CA Publicist – email@example.com
US Publicist – firstname.lastname@example.org
UK Publicist – email@example.com
Website – ponygirl.ca
Bandcamp – ponygirl.bandcamp.com
YouTube – youtube.com/ponygirlband
Instagram – @ponygirlband
Facebook – @ponygirlband
Twitter – @ponygirlband
Tik Tok – @ponygirlband
“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
“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
“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
Arboretum Festival / Array Space / All Saints (Palingenesis) / Babylon / Baby G / Baltimore House / Bar Le Ritz PDB / Blacksheep Inn / Burdock / Capital Complex / Canadian Music Week / Casa del Popolo / CityFolk Festival / Club SAW / Company House / Connexion ARC / DAÏMÔN / Detour Music Hall / Divan Orange / DSTRCT / L’Escogriffe / Festival d’été de Québec / Flourish Festival / The Garrison / The Great Hall / Halifax Pop Explosion / Horseshoe Tavern / JUNOfest / Megaphono / Memorial Park / Menz & Mollyz / Minotaure / Monarch / National Arts Centre / Open Sesame / Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival / Ottawa Folk Festival / Ottawa Jazz Festival / Pique / Quality Block Party / Ravenswing Art + Music Festival / The Rainbow / RBC Bluesfest / Rum Runners / Sala Rossa / Seahorse Tavern / Shenkman Arts Centre / Sled Island Music & Arts Festival / St. Alban’s Church / The Artful Dodger / Théâtre Outremont / The Townhouse / Thunder & Lightning / UNB Art Centre / Vangelis / West Dublin Hall / Westfest / Zaphod Beeblebrox / Zénob
Laff It Off (October 27, 2023)
Paper Bag Records – PAPER152
If you don’t wanna be working every day, or believe in nothing, or feel like a wannabe, sometimes all you can do is Laff It Off. Pony Girl’s sophomore album for Paper Bag Records casts the warm light of golden hour onto their artpop, guiding characters who are floating towards hope.
Praised for their “alluring” music “lush with synths, sax and sultry vocals” (Brooklyn Vegan), “emotive and expressive” songs (CBC Radio), and “gorgeous… modern-rock tapestry” (Ottawa Citizen), Pony Girl will awe you with Laff It Off, their most optimistic statement yet.
Laff It Off urges you to let go, a playful departure from the shade of its sister album Enny One Wil Love You. Its spirited title track chants “I don’t wanna be working every day” over and over, rejecting labour and floating on with the tentative smile of those yellow happy face balloons. Playful fingerpicking gives way to surging synths for an opener as catchy as it is cathartic. You’re in Pony Girl’s world now.
From stage fright to sex work, Pascal Huot and Yolande Laroche craft a world of personas with honey-rich voices and a moving desire to persevere. “Highways” softly bends with the fragility of new love, “Wannabe” croons that we’re all performing onstage and off, and “I Believe In Nothing” releases us from darkness with careening guitars, distortion, and pure freedom.
Pony Girl is a kaleidoscope of pop unlike any other, turning everyday life into mesmerizing melodies, rock and electronic production. In true indie fashion, the Ottawa-Hull collective self-released their first two records (Show Me Your Fears in 2013, and Foreign Life in 2015) before signing with Paper Bag Records to unveil Enny One Wil Love You in 2022.
Laff It Off will take to the skies this fall. Should you find your shoes are made of stone, this album is the very push you need to move forward. Rest in its glow.
“Pony Girl have once again levelled up their craft — getting even more accessible while retaining the whimsy of their musically dexterous, off-centre arrangements.” –Exclaim!
“Pop art mastery… “Laff It Off” is yet another showcase of their enthralling sonic landscape.” –Earmilk
“Pony Girl’s most optimistic statement yet — and that’s not just because of the yellow smiley face balloons.” –Exclaim!
“An infectious vibe… Showcasing a seamless blend of playful fingerpicking with surging synths, the anthemic production sways between moments of intensity and tender introspection… both cathartic and catchy. ” –Earmilk
Enny One Wil Love You (2022)
Paper Bag Records – PAPER144
Pressure makes diamonds, bad life decisions, and Pony Girl. Acclaimed for their “evocative soundscapes” (CBC Radio), “ability to push the boundaries that define ‘pop-rock’” (Mixtape Magazine), and “musical depth quite astonishing to experience” (Exclaim!), the artpop group is well worth mining.
Enny One Wil Love You, Pony Girl’s Paper Bag Records debut, holds a mirror to our negative cycles for an album that’s as alluring as self-sabotage. Don’t let the title from a childhood painting fool you. Perpetual wartime, teenage temptations, false idols—we’re always crashing the same car in some form or another. So did the band, quite literally, in the lead-up to the album release. Pony Girl have braved much together, and their music is stronger for it.
Pascal Huot and Yolande Laroche’s duets anchor it all, wonderfully illuminating the inner worlds of imperfect characters. “King of the Country Club” smashes ego’s crown with warped harmonies and clarinet, “Age of Anxious” throbs with bass and unrequited love, and title track “Enny One Wil Love You” journeys through disappointment like a dizzying video game. The Ottawa-Hull band brings a shimmering pop sensibility to rock and electronic production, scoring familiar conflicts with a prismatic sound that’s all their own.
Winner: Single of the Year – Capital Music Awards 2023
Nominated: Album of the Year — Capital Music Awards 2023
Nominated: Best Production & Arrangements — Capital Music Awards 2023
“A gorgeous collection of shoe-gazing songs set in a modern-rock tapestry that combines chamber-pop instrumentation and churning electronics.” –Ottawa Citizen
“Pony Girl have established a vibrant multi-genre sound led by messages that are as vulnerable as they are alluring – and with this latest outing they continue along the same artistic path with finesse.” –Earmilk
“Honest, eccentric, and stimulating, Pony Girl have done something magical with their new release.” –Dusty Organ
“We can’t take this thing off repeat.” –Indie Machine
“Their new record finds them more mesmerizing and creative than ever, blurring the boundaries between art pop, indie rock, and electronic production.” –Under The Radar
“With a sound that dazzles as much as it does rock, Enny One Wil Love You has hook after hook to stay in your head for days on end.” –chorus.fm
Foreign Life (2015)
So Sorry Records – SOSO-003
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
“The band’s sound has swelled and matured, playing on the dynamics of loud and softer moments for a well-groomed soulfulness that still has teeth.” –CBC Ottawa
Show Me Your Fears (2013)
Pop Drone Records – PDR004
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
“A collective that have been quietly making a name for themselves in the capital and on the East Coast… What a great sound!” –Silent Shout
Laff It Off (2023)
Directed by Brittany Delgaty (K Collective)
We all crave adventure, desire fulfillment and seek out what makes us happy. But what happens when we lose ourselves in the search for something better?
This video was a really fun opportunity to weave this idea into Pony Girl’s visual universe. We’ve been playing with the happy face balloon in both videos and album covers – and the band took it further in some of their merch and live shows. But the balloon has only ever been a prop, and Laff It Off transforms it into something bigger (literally). In this video, the balloon comes alive, engorging itself on the feelings of the characters and taking them along with it as it grows. The larger the smile, the more threatening it is.
Age of Anxious (2022)
Directed by Brittany Delgaty (K Collective)
We are living in the age of anxious. Through a series of partially intertwined vignettes, this video will take the viewer through the fabricated dollhouse we feel trapped inside, scrolling through our phones, searching for love and struggling to free ourselves from technology at the same time. By pairing familiar characters and situations with surreal props/sets or stories, this video will take a humorous angle to answer the question: is the age of anxious real? Or is it all in our heads?
Video of the Year — Capital Music Awards 2023
Single of the Year — Capital Music Awards 2023
King of the Country Club (2022)
Directed by Yanran Zhu
‘King of the Country Club’ confronts privilege through a surreal golf nightmare. Pony Girl’s friend, the Canadian songwriter Gianna Lauren, once dreamed she had to whack someone in the throat with a golf club, which inspired the band to think about relationships to power. Pascal’s auto-tuned snark is as insincere as these social hierarchies
Running in Circles (2022)
Directed by Dom Llanos (K Collective)
A quarter falls from a woman’s purse and spins on the floor. The arms of the clock spin on the wall. The store clerk stocks a shelf. Sometimes he stares at the clock and watches the time, waiting for his shift to end. It’s a typical day on the job. Except, the boss is here today. He’s making sure everything is in order, helping customers and keeping an eye on the clerk. We see flashes of alternate events, surreal fantasies. Why are all the customers in their underwear? Or did the clerk’s imagination take him for a ride? His hands, covered in blood. Or is it pasta sauce? There’s a cleanup on aisle 5.
Enny One Wil Love You (2022)
Directed by Shiyi Li
A woman wakes up on an empty bed, there is a piece missing in her memory and she can’t recall how she ended up in this room. There is a memory puzzle on her wrist, she has to find the lost piece in a hyper-reality world. She puts on VR goggles, enters the virtual space, and looks for the lost piece. She finally finds it and puts the lost piece where it belongs. Suddenly, she wakes up again in the same bed and in the same room. Two giants look over many rooms in different dimensional spaces, they raise a hand to close the girl’s window. The different worlds are loosely based on the stages of grief. They are almost like trials that our character needs to pass. The character has literally lost a piece of herself and the only place she will find it is within herself.
Directed by Pascal Huot (Pony Girl)
The concept for “Candy” stems from a fictional pizza shop called Hot Pizza. We created a commercial highlighting their Hot Special: a large Hawaiian pizza. We wanted to lead the viewer into a stereotypical girl meets guy scenario. The sort of unrealistic narrative we consume so regularly—in so many forms—we actually find it familiar and “normal.” At the end of the day, it’s just someone who wants pizza.
Little Life (2017)
Directed by Pascal Huot (Pony Girl)
“Little Life” is a music video inspired by the early experiments of Norman McLaren in film and animation. Ashes rise from the dead to create an awe-inspiring trance. What is there after nothing? Singing consciousness as the ego dances away. A dance with the end.
World Premiere at Cucalorus Festival
Canadian Premiere at Mirror Mountain Film Festival
All songs written by Pony Girl
Pascal Huot / Lyrics, Vocals, Guitar / 2012-present
Yolande Laroche / Keys, Vocals, Clarinet / 2012-present
Julien Dussault / Guitar, Synth / 2012-present
Greggory Clark / Bass, Synth / 2012-present
Mili Hong / Drums, Percussion / 2020-present
Isaac Vallentin / Drums, Guitar, Vocals / 2012-2015
Jeff Kingsbury / Drums, Percussion / 2013-2019
Recording Personnel Since 2012 (A–Z)
Yuri Bakker / JF Beauchamp / Jonas Bonnetta / Philip Shaw Bova / Gillian Carrabré / Philippe Charbonneau / Greggory Clark / Michel Cousineau / Julien Dussault / Fiona Ferguson / Rheuben Ghose / Cameron Hill / Mili Hong / Pascal Huot / Chris Hutchison / Greg Jones / Jeff Kingsbury / Karolyne LaFortune / Yolande Laroche / Denis Martin / Greg Moffat / Seb Perry / Jonah Poplove / Joseph Shabason / Théan Slabbert / Stefan Thompson / Olivier Trahan / Carol Tsai / Austin Tufts / Isaac Vallentin / Dean Watson / Raphael Weinroth-Browne