Posts Tagged ‘When I say to you Black Lightning’

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Feels like yesterday that many of us were just meeting Mitski for the first time, that all-American girl sucking face with her hand while a totally unanticipated grunge-guitar chorus roused us from the somnambulistic acoustic ballad she was wooing us with. It’s a very similar energy that recently also introduced many of us to Common Holly, aka Brigitte Naggar whose “Crazy Ok” follows a very similar trajectory, abruptly escalating from a borderline-twee folk love song to arena-reaching riffs subdued only by an indie-label budget. With little more warning than a blip of harsh electric guitar, the song descends into an utterly chaotic close to Brigitte Naggar’s mostly hushed—though wildly experimental—second album.

“Crazy Ok” from my album ‘When I say to you Black Lightning’ hey what’s this one about? cool have a great day

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Although Common Holly’s sophomore album, “When I say to you Black Lightning”, is engaging from its very opening notes, its thesis statement doesn’t arrive until four songs in: “I think we’ve been measured out for pain since birth,” Brigitte Naggar sings on the woodwind-flanked folk rumination “Measured”.

The album, a thrilling experiment in shattering the boundaries between folk, rock and occasionally punk, examines the human capacity to receive, cope with and deliver trauma. A huge leap from Naggar’s 2017 debut, Playing House, Black Lightning is rife with minimally detailed yet fully rendered character sketches, and Naggar’s deftness at seamlessly weaving dissonant guitar lines into her riveting stories elevates her music well above much of the crowded folk-adjacent field.

“When I say to you Black Lightning” out October 18th. This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.

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Common Holly (real name Brigitte Naggar) has come a long away since self-releasing her debut album Playing House back in 2016. It quickly stirred up buzz, helping Brigitte ink a deal with Solitaire Recordings, who gave the album a wider release in 2017, which is when the Montreal artist started to catch on in the U.S. The album’s folk and jazz-pop vibes gained Common Holly more than a few comparisons to fellow Canadian Feist, but on its new followup — and Barsuk Records debut — “When I say to you Black Lightning”, she is taking her sound into much different territories. This time around, the first comparison that comes to mind is Julia Holter, but really she is just continuing to carve a unique space for herself. Instead of folk and jazz-pop, Black Lightning takes Common Holly’s sound in more atmospheric and more experimental art-pop directions than ever before.

It’s both more complex and more gorgeous sounding, and despite it being a more experimental album, it’s just as accessible as the debut. Brigitte herself says the album “documents a period of growth,” and that’s obvious just from listening to it. The album was made over a two-year period, which is sort of a long time in our fast-paced, short-attention-span world, but when you make artistic leaps like Common Holly did on Black Lightning, it’s worth the wait.

Common Holly’s Album “When I say to you Black Lightning” out October 18th.