Tess Roby Casa del Popolo, Montreal QC, September 23

Tess Roby Casa del Popolo, Montreal QC, September 23
Photo: Steve Louie
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Performing in a two-piece formation with her brother, a guitarist, as both were cast in flickering images by a projectionist, Montreal artist and musician Tess Roby seemed at home in the synthetic world she created. The music was pop-oriented and at least a little dark, if not dystopian.
 
The whole hue is impacted by Roby's voice and melodic impulses, which lie somewhere within the emotional register that Kate Bush and Björk tend to trigger. The songs are raw and emotive, but also playfully mysterious and theatrical. The treated ambient guitar rests on the indie rock side of the Edge, as drum samples and synthesizers add more and more goth-pop textures. It was heavy and compelling and, unsettlingly, not really of any time.