Post Script, February 28th at The Artful Dodger in Regina

Edmonton’s Post Script is a group that exudes charm. From their smiling faces and genuine, enthusiastic kindness to their clever tunes and tasteful arrangements, nearly everything they do provokes a grin or a sigh of real human reaction. The trio took the stage between Kirby Criddle and Danny Olliver, completing an indie-folk trifecta and stealing the hearts and ears of a packed house at the Dodger.

All three members sing, with Steph Blais alternating between silvery acoustic and smooth, hollow-body electric guitar, Paul Cournoyer propping up the band with a variety of upright bass textures, and Brayden Treble filling the cracks with tasteful electric guitar colours from his Gretsch White Falcon — always subtle but never shy. From their instrumentation, I could have assumed that Post Script would be a sort of old-time revival group, and from the rest of the acts on the bill, I could have assumed they were a modern indie-pop outfit. Their actual sound falls somewhere in between. They have the conservative instrumentation and folk sensibilities of a period-pop group but work in a contemporary sound palette that offsets their nostalgic qualities in a way that creates a uniquely balanced sound. They weave family stories into indie-folk tapestries that draw the ear and melt┬áthe heart, and just when you think you couldn’t love them any more, they begin to sing in French. The group’s body of work is clearly driven by two songwriters (Steph and Paul), both of whom share bilingual lead vocal duties, sometimes within the same song. Despite my franco-deficient tendencies, I am endlessly beguiled by musicians who sing in languages I don’t understand. Perhaps it replaces all of my horrible core French school memories with more pleasant ones, for which I am endlessly thankful.

I felt a personal connection to many of Post Script’s songs, as a number of them explored their own family histories: perhaps as a means of connecting more deeply with their past. This is a sentiment I can identify with, and had me glued to their every word for much of their set. Stories of a tail-gunning grandfather and musings on a distant relative’s diary left me lightly misty-eyed and longing for the same sort of connection to my own ancestry.

Great songs and beautiful sounds are enough to make a concert remarkable, but having them presented in a way that is engaging and personable brings so much more to the table. This is part of what sets Post Script apart. They project an air of gratitude and excitement, sharing knowing glances and warm smiles together in a way that signals a real love for their performance and for each other. This love extends to their music, wrapping every note in kindness and humility and instantly winning over the audience. Between Paul’s fragmented story of being young and foolish in New York and Brayden’s bashful admission that he can only sing French (making him a “fakeophone”), Steph champions the group’s stage presence with conviction and warmth in a way that has you listening to her every word, sung or spoken. This is a group to watch.

 

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