Interview: Roxanne Potvin, “All It Was”

Roxanne Potvin - All It Was

With the recent release of her five-song EP, “All It Was,” Roxanne Potvin has delivered a tantalizing set of songs not only exploring love in its multiple facets, but also exploring her own gifts as she once again produces her own work (as she did on her 2016 project “For Dreaming”).

“All It Was” provides a mournful but grounded look back at a relationship, while “I Know It’s Good” explores the opposite experience – a new love, always a challenge to take slowly and not rush.  (The song also has some terrific 70s grooves – always ideal for these ears!)  “Last Days of Summer” is an excellent example of a slow, intense ballad done well – something that is surprisingly challenging to pull off, but which Roxanne does with ease.  “Lonely Island,” as noted in my chat with Roxanne below, offers a delightful taste of calypso influences and rhythms, while the album closes with another slow tempo powerhouse in “Nuit électrique.”

We’re so pleased that Roxanne was able to chat with us about the new album.


As you began work on this EP, what goal(s) did you have in mind for the project? And do you feel you accomplished them?

I guess my goal was to share the best work I could at the moment, probably every artist’s goal… I had some songs I thought were good so I just went ahead with that.

Your work has spanned a variety of genres over the course of your career – blues, pop, and folk. What influences would you cite for this album?

I didn’t have a clear direction for this particular project besides my main overall music muses which I call my three B’s: the Beatles, the Blues and Beck. I can hear a little bit of all those influences on the EP

In addition to the audio recording for this album, there is also a companion video EP – how did that project come to fruition, and what was the inspiration for it?

The video EP is still in the process of getting made actually, we have the 2 first videos done and will release each song and accompanying video as they’re completed. I had the idea for a video EP just from noticing how much visual content makes an impact with people. I also think it’s an interesting addition and challenge to tell the story visually as well as with the music. Sometimes it makes you hear the song differently, for better or worse!

Although the rhythm is quite different, “Lonely Island” nevertheless reminded me somewhat of Blondie’s “The Tide Is High” (perhaps that’s just a sign of my age…). What was the inspiration for this particular song?

That’s a really nice compliment, thanks. I started writing the lyrics to the song at the Dunk on PEI, a lovely house concert venue that my great friend Melanie Mills owns and runs. When I eventually named the song “Lonely Island,” I had the urge to make it sort of a Caribbean fairytale. I’m a huge fan of those classic Harry Belafonte records ever since the movie “Beetlejuice” came out, so I couldn’t resist! It’s not really calypso though, I call it calypso-so haha.

You recently had your release show last night at Toronto’s Painted Lady. Do you have additional touring plans for the new album?

Yes, in the spring! I’ll be touring in support of Colin James on his East Coast tour and then doing my own western Canadian dates in May. Keep an eye out for the dates on my website, we’ll be announcing those very soon.

Visit Roxanne Potvin’s website.

Listen to “All It Was” on Spotify.

 

Lesley Carter

Exposed to the wonders of CBC and Montréal Canadiens hockey as a teenager thanks to a satellite dish in rural Kansas, I have been an unabashed lover of all things Canadian ever since. I am a lifelong collector of esoteric and varied music, a teacher of piano, and an aspiring multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, mandola, ukulele). In real life, I work in the field of technology.

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