Haley Blais

Charlie Houston

Wednesday, April 03, 2024
Doors: 6pm | Show: 8pm
$18

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But if you see me out, know I'm the coolest fucking bitch in town, sings Haley Blais on her self-effacing first single about acting like you've got it all together while being an emotional wreck. The song is a defining track from her recently released album Wisecrack. Funny and raw at the same time. Tongue-in-cheek lines like I want my therapist to think I'm coolgive the melancholic mood a biting edge. All of Wisecrack is like this: textured and wryly poetic, oscillating somewhere between a cherished childhood memory and the creation of a new self. Concerned with conscience, morality, "being stuck between two mindsets" — the old self and what the future holds — and the superego. It's "bleak but true," as Blais puts it. "Am I a good person or not? Are we all doing okay? Am I a good daughter? Sister? Partner? Friend?" The existential, everyday worries we all contain but rarely share are laid bare across eleven songs exquisitely performed with profundity, grace, and humour. Conceived as a conceptual piece about the formation of new families amidst the dissolution of her parents' relationshipW, isecrack is more mature, confessional, focused, and darker, than anything Blais has yet produced. The Vancouver-based singer-songwriter started developing a community and fanbase as a teenager almost a decade ago with her diaristic YouTube videos and tender ukulele covers. Since then, Blais, who sang classical opera for ten years, traded in the solo ukulele for a guitar and a five-piece band. In 2020, Blais released a debut full-length album of jangly pop anthems, Below the Salt, produced with indie staples Tennis and Louise Burns, featuring the vocally powerful, complex slow-burn favourite "Be Your Own Muse." The self-released Below the Salt amassed millions of streams and avid support from publications like NPR, NYLON, and i-D and led to a North American tour with Peach Pit and headline tours throughout North America, Europe and the UK. Now signed to iconic indie label Arts & Crafts, Blais released her sophomore record Wisecrack in the fall of 2023.
"Cranberry" is the new indie pop single from Canadian artist Charlie Houston about the anxieties of causing unnecessary stress on those around you. "This song was inspired by me burning a rubber spoon onto a pan onto a pan and then thinking the fumes from the burnt spoon might kill me," Charlie reflects. "I freaked out and ran into my room but knew I was overreacting so didn't want to talk to anyone about it. I'm terrified of being a burden on the people around me." The delicate arrangement of soft acoustic strumming, twinkling piano, and upbeat percussion perfectly wrap the vulnerable hook "I don't wanna be a burden, baby."