Born in Regina, Saskatchewan and currently based in Gatineau, Quebec, singer/songwriter Roxanne Potvin heretofore has incorporated the influence of such musical visionaries as Dinah Washington, Solomon Burke, Irma Thomas, Ruth Brown, the Staple Singers and Bessie Smith into her original work.
But with the release of Play, Potvin (who is the daughter of a CBC reporter) has opted to take an entirely different direction.
“I had been listening to all different types of music and learning to approach writing as a discipline”, Potvin said in a recent statement.
With an increased emphasis on vivid imagery in a relatively straightforward setting, Potvin has succeeded in producing a memorable and highly accessible collection. It is her first for the Vancouver, British Columbia-based label.
“More than anything else, I wanted to have fun”, she said.
“I wanted more ‘sugar pie and bacon’ on these songs.”
While such an analogy may produce varied reactions amongst observers, suffice to say that the twelve selections which comprise Play do indeed reflect success in her endeavors. Traces of folk, psychedelia, dreamscape and second generation garage rock characterize the work at large, highlighted by the endearing Bert Sommer/Vantastix hybrid, You Told Me, the quasi-Francoise Hardy atmosphere of Donnes Ton Mal, the ethereal Seashells, the Human Switchboard/Plastic Bertrand-flavored romp, Dis-Moi Que Tu M’aimes and her disarmingly cavalier, Waitresses/Suburban Lawns-like take on Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy (Charisma 7-98671).
While many such artists often opt to not venture outside of familiar territory, Potvin has remained steadfast in her conviction that such a move is in keeping with her determination to avoid complacency. Most assuredly, to invoke two of this Steve Dawson-produced collection’s standout tracks, Potvin has indeed managed to Keep Her Head while proving that she was Born To Win.