Published Nov 11, 2015Before Pony Girl had even released their 2013 debut album, Show Me Your Fears, many of Foreign Life's songs had already been written. Though they were itching to be heard, the tracks would only be unleashed a few years later; now that it's out, Foreign Life is Pony Girl's best work yet — these 14 songs reward the long wait and hard work that went into them.
Lead singer and guitarist Pascal Huot's lyrics pine for a life he aspires to live here, but there is an equal amount of dejection and happiness in these songs by these six multi-instrumentalists. Chalk it up to musical chemistry, but the sextet ably make differing genres sound like one here, making chamber composition "Hamady" and dreamy pop number "Candy" cohere while elsewhere, "Little Life" sounds like the electronics of a spaceship engine and "Theo" has a rollicking rock beat that blends joyful guitar with pensive bass.
The percussion is as surgical as ever and the clarinet as evocative as clarinettist Yolande Laroche's sweet voice, and the addition of Mitch Cousineau's keyboard and piano is downright gorgeous, lit up by the harmonizing male-female vocals that distinguish Pony Girl's examination of art-rock. Foreign Life creates a soundscape that stretches not just across several genres, but several generations too. This is timeless stuff. (So Sorry)