Not You Halifax Pop Explosion, Halifax NS, October 18

Not You Halifax Pop Explosion, Halifax NS, October 18
Photo: Richard Lann

Halifax's Not You helped open the first night of the city's annual Pop Explosion festival with a woozy, hook-filled set that featured awkward noise, a Go-Go's cover and pregnancy goofs.
"Any mistakes tonight, there's somebody living inside me who totally can't play guitar," joked guitarist Stephanie Johns, visibly pregnant but — to the crowd's cheers — completing the set without availing herself of her nearby chair.
Opening with "Mabel" from their self-titled EP, Not You's set fused shoegaze sounds with catchy, memorable melodies. Vocalist Nancy Urich has a way of writing hooks that ever-so-slightly sidestep the obvious or expected notes, making songs like "Pt" and "Soup" novel and engaging. The reverb and guitar riffs carried the weight of things from there, making for a great sounding set — excepting a shrill feedback tone that no one could figure out how to get rid of.
Two highlights of note: a new song with a slow, steady bass riff that was bedding for a wonderfully noisy ebb-and-flow, and a cover of the Go-Go's "Our Lips Are Sealed" ' one that, in lowering the vocals to a lower octave, added a cool melancholy to the song, even as the Marquee Club crowd sang along.

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