Posts Tagged ‘Playing House’

SXSW Music Day 4 Highlights: Common Holly, Soccer Mommy, Ought, Porches

The Montreal band led by Brigitte Naggar is as bewitching live as they are on record. Naggar is flanked by a cello player and drummer, and her delivery is dauntless. The songs off her debut album, Playing House are flat out beautiful. Naggar is snarky yet charming at every turn and we’re excited for what comes next for her group, which they signed with Toronto’s Seal Mountain Records this week.

Montreal’s Common Holly is a new indie rock act that combined jagged guitars with smooth welcoming vocals to build a charming debut on her record Playing House in October of 2017. The release got a good bit of love from some cool media outlets, and was released digitally by Solitaire Recordings, but somehow I only discovered it recently, but entranced by a single listen.

But I’m not the only one who has been noticing. Common Holly have now announced that they’re signed to Seal Mountain Records, who released our Oso Oso’s yunahon mixtape last year. Seal Mountain will be pressing the record to vinyl for the first time.


New album Playing House may only hint at the full scope of Brigitte Naggar’s talents. The Montréal musician known as Common Holly counts few common threads from song to song besides her mesmerizing voice and distinct sensibility. Album closer “New Bed” amounts to little more than that (and that’s all it needs), while on opener “If After All,” acoustic guitar and orchestral accompaniment give way to booming drums and gnarly alt-rock power chords. Her array of cinematic ballads make diverse use of minimal arrangements, venturing into chamber-pop, country, post-rock, and other styles in service of compelling narration about a romantic relationship falling apart. (From the title track: “I’ll play mama, you’ll play daddy, and we’ll ruin us beyond repair.”) Ultimately it’s a singer-songwriter album that plays with an auteur’s vision, one that suggests Naggar’s horizons are broad.