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Roxanne Potvin, credit Jen Squires

Gig Pick: Roxanne Potvin returns to Ottawa to release a new album—09.21.18

By Jared Davidson on September 21, 2018


Just a few weeks after moving to Hull, Roxanne Potvin is releasing a new EP at Live on Elgin tonight. She will be playing music from the 20 minute EP All It Was, which released today across platforms. The show will also feature a set from Jonathan Pearce of Winchester Warm.

It’s quite a way to let people know you’re in town, but for Potvin this is not new territory. She first moved to Hull when she was 4 years old, but her musical career took her elsewhere. Now that she’s back, she’s wasting no time in making her mark on the city, even releasing a music video shot in the Mayfair Cinema.

“Dude… could we shoot at the Mayfair?”

Potvin had been looking for a place to shoot a video she imagined as a throwback to the era of torch singers. She happened to meet Peter Moore of the Mayfair Theatre and, as she told him about it, it suddenly clicked.

“I was like, ‘Dude… could we shoot at the Mayfair?'” Potvin recalls. Of course he let her. How could anyone say no? The fit seems almost too perfect.

A small amount of research on the theatre reveals that it was never used for such performances, but did focus on pornographic films for a couple years in the 1970s. The more you know.

The video echoes the tone of an album drenched in heartache. All It Was was written in the month following a breakup, and Potvin poured a lot of herself into it.

“I don’t usually write from personal experience,” she says. “But this was just such a present theme in my life at the time that it was all I was writing about.”

Up until now, she says, her songs had been about made up characters, or fragments. This is the first time she’s putting herself in the music to this extent, but it seems to fit.

“Writing has always been a way for me to process things,” she says. “I’m not revealing all the juicy details. And hopefully [the songs are] broad enough that other people can hear their stories in them too. That’s what I hope.”

Roxanne Potvin releases All It Was at Live on Elgin on Friday September 21, 2018. Doors are at 8pm. Tickets are $15.