09 Jun Playing House released!
SYR is extremely elated to announce that the debut long player from Common Holly is now available! Once you’ve had a listen to this excellent record, make sure to mark down June 29 for the album’s launch at Casa del Popolo. You can find the album directly on bandcamp or in the player below.
Common Holly emerged in November 2015 when songwriter Brigitte Naggar decided to begin exploring work more playfully biting than her previous endeavors. She explains the focus of these new explorations as “the fragile shapes of melancholy and confession,” but also as the embodiment of “a strange, almost humorous resilience.” To help realize these aspirations, Naggar has chosen to team with longtime SYR affiliate, producer/musician Devon Bate (BUFFLO, Balcony, Devon Thomas), who is sometimes described as Common Holly’s Timbaland. Bate’s contributions to the work translate seamlessly and tastefully, lending a certain truth to this comparison. One gets a great sense of their chemistry in this live session of “The Desert,” a cut from Playing House.
The album opens with “If After All,” a meandering odyssey with a heavy climax, conforming somewhat to the tradition that requires an album to start with its best song. While this opener is certainly a contender for the album’s best, it acts more as an overture for Playing House with its wide compositional lens. From there the album flows like a dream, twisting and turning unexpectedly while never revealing the secrets of its serenades. The halfway point, “Lullaby,” features pianist Jean-Michel Blais (Arts & Crafts) in a deeply moving ode to the end of a taxing winter. Emerging from those torturous depths is “The Rose,” a reflective number whose bluesy waltz entrances.
As the record approaches its end, the coda of “New Bed” proves particularly apt with its refrain: “I feel that we will get along just fine.” The music is simply compelling. And so is its author. Upon the album’s release, Brigitte wrote:
This is my first album. Just about a year ago Devon Bate and I began our work on this creature, which has become something I couldn’t possibly have imagined it could be. It’s a testament to a heavy and oscillating emotional process, wrapped in delicate musical exploration, and it expresses my first real efforts to create something that is entirely deliberate. I don’t know what else to say except that I can’t wait for you to hear it, and that maybe it will mean something to you, and then maybe we can talk about it after. I would so love that.