Montreal’s Common Holly — the indie-rock singer-songwriter born Brigitte Naggar — has shared stages with impressive names like Half Waif and Land Of Talk, and she has more dates coming up with Tim Darcy and Majical Cloudz’s Devon Welsh among others. Naggar has the music to back up those big associations, too. “Nothing,” from her upcoming album Playing House, is a piercingly intimate breakup ballad — not angry or aggressive in its sadness, just resigned to a fate of keeping your distance from a loved one for whom mutual association has become too damaging to sustain. The song finds richness in its minimalism, wringing significant drama from a relatively limited dynamic range and compact runtime — not least of all due to Naggar’s vocals, which convey the subtlest trembling beneath her veneer of calm. Via email, she explained the song’s modus operandi:
I think, especially at the end of a relationship, there comes a time when the best thing you can do for someone is to leave them alone even though it might feel like you’re abandoning them. Sometimes trying to resolve things and being over-present is an act influenced more by guilt than by empathy.
Without making a big show of it, “Nothing” is a seriously stunning piece of work that ought to put Common Holly on your radar. Hear it below along with previous single “If After All.”
Common Holly’s tour dates:
08/22 Quebec City, QC @ Le Maelstrom (with Marianne Poirier)
08/23 Ottawa, QC @ Record Centre (with Sparklesauraus)
08/24 Peteborough, ON @ The Garnet (with Nick Ferrio)
08/25 Toronto, ON @ Burdock (with Little Kid + Blunt Chunks)
09/06 Montreal, QC @ La Vitrola (with Tim Darcy + Devon Welsh)
09/08 New York, NY @ Otis Mountain Get Down
Playing House is out 9/25 via Solitaire Recordings. Pre-order it here, and check out the cover art below.