by Micayla Bussieres

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Every year Ottawa Folk Festival offers a free section that features food trucks, artisan booths, and best of all, a few stages that allow those thrifty festival-goers a fairly wide array of fantastic music and informative sessions. On day 3 I decided to check out a local band that I had been hearing about for some time, called Pony Girl. Although they are considered art-rock by the local music scene, you can tell from listening to just a few songs that folk is at the root of their sound. The mixture of strings, keys, horns and woodwinds gave their set a very dreamy and almost cinematic feel, while the harmony between the lead vocalists, Pascal Huot and Yolande Laroche, brought us back into reality.

Each of the seven musicians on the stage put so much passion into their part while playing some older songs as well as several new songs from Foreign Life, their upcoming sophomore LP. The expressive dance moves of Laroche while singing and playing the clarinet were mesmerizing and were the first reason I took out my camera during the festival. I know not everyone is into that “artsy” type of music but Pony Girl ended up drawing quite a large crowd even while bigger acts, like J. Cole, were playing in the main venue. There’s definitely something to be said about hometown pride and the support that the crowd gave was one for the books. Afterwards, I ended day 3 with the night’s headliners, The National.