Duchess Says, KROY bring synth to local stages

Punk, pop and old-school country abound this weekend, from Ottawa record shops to bars in Vieux Hull.

Punk, pop and old-school country abound this weekend, from Ottawa record shops to bars in Vieux Hull

Common Holly brings her textured folk-pop to Ottawa on Thursday with a show at The Record Centre. (Bandcamp)

Common Holly @ The Record Centre on Thursday, 7 p.m., $10 (PWYC)

Brigitte Naggar's gentle voice has been a recognizable part of Montreal's musical landscape for a few years now. These days, she calls herself Common Holly — and her latest release under that name is characteristically bare-boned and compelling.

The songs on Playing House have a spiderweb quality; Naggar spins them delicately and intricately, with her wispy vocals brightening occasional bursts of guitars and percussion.

On Thursday night, Common Holly joins local outfit Jamieson Mackay for a pay-what-you-can set at The Record Centre.

Duchess Says @ House of TARG on Friday, 9 p.m., $12

Montreal synth-punks Duchess Says headline a show at House of TARG on Friday night. (Philippe Beausejour)

If you haven't quite finished with the Halloween vibes, fellow Montrealers Duchess Says might be up your alley.

The synth-punk band is a clash of dark 'n' stormy Moog, riot grrrl consciousness, and early 80s melodies — and the live show is a frenzied party, with singer Annie-Claude Deschenes at the helm. She's known for breaking down distinctions of performer and audience, and heading into the crowd to get people moving in a wild punk dance party.

Having just released their first album in five years, the distinctly jammy Sciences Nouvelles, you can bet Duchess Says is going to pack the room at TARG. They're on a stellar bill with Expanda Fuzz and The Dark Plains.

Zachary Lucky @ The Black Sheep Inn on Friday, 8:30 p.m., $10

Saskatoon country musician Zachary Lucky is heading on tour soon to promote his new album — Midwestern. (Bandcamp)

There's a lot more music to be found around Ottawa-Gatineau on Friday night: Rykka is taking her electro-pop to Zaphod's; instrumental jazz trio Misc is playing an NAC Back Stage show; and locals Saint Clare are launching a new album at Bar Robo.

Meanwhile, in Wakefield, Saskatoon's Zachary Lucky is touring a new record of his own. Everywhere a Man Can Be is a collection of easygoing country ballads informed by Lucky's past few years on the road — the places he's visited and the people he's met. Delivered in Lucky's signature gruff voice, it's an understated and timeless ode to Canada.

Next stop on Lucky's journey: the Black Sheep.

KROY @ Minotaure on Saturday, 8 p.m., $15

KROY plays at Minotaure in Vieux Hull on Saturday night. (John Londono)

Camille Poliquin got an early start as a performer — in Cirque de Soleil at the age of 10. As a solo musician under the name KROY, there's a touch of that same drama in her striking appearance and powerful voice.

Still, KROY opts for a more low-key stage presence, letting the music speak for itself. One half of the duo Milk & Bone, Kroy delivers a similar brand of catchy, electronic pop — but with intensely personal lyrics that she admits have been a therapeutic way of working through emotions.

On Saturday, she'll play songs from her debut album Scavenger at a show in Vieux-Hull at Minotaure (on Rue Kent in the former home of Le Bistro).

About the Author

Jessa Runciman

Associate Producer

Jessa Runciman is an associate producer with CBC Ottawa, and an avid music fan and show-goer. You can follow her on Twitter @jessarunciman.