Even while in the midst of finding national and international success as a part of indie-folk trio Les Hay Babies, Vivianne Roy had assembled a collection of indie-rock inspired songs that didn’t fit within the confines of the band.
Enter Laura Sauvage, Roy’s alter ego and solo endeavour that has, in a short amount of time, garnered a flurry of activity and national praise.
“Before getting together as Les Hay Babies, each of us were solo artists,” Roy tells us earlier this week. “I’ve written songs just for the fun of it since the time I was a teenager. A lot of the material I had been writing didn’t fit in with what the band was doing. I thought about maybe recording my songs, but never had the guts to follow through on it until it was suggested to me by a friend.”
Given the hectic schedule that Les Hay Babies kept over the course of the last five or six years, one can’t blame Roy for not having pursued her more rambunctious musical side sooner.
On the strength of their Folio EP in 2012 and their full-length effort Mon Homesick Heart (2014), Les Hay Babies toured nationally and internationally, garnering a Canadian Folk Music Award win, multiple East Coast Music Award nominations and, arguably most importantly, the love of a fiercely devoted group of fans.
So once the group stopped to catch its breath, pursuing other interests was somewhat of a given.
“We were all grateful for everything we were able to accomplish in those four or five years,” she says, while also confirming Les Hay babies are still very much a going concern. “It was a busy time, but I think it was best for everyone just to take a step back from the band, though.”
Two of the members of Les Hay Babies – Julie Aubé and Katrine Noel – ended up opening the retro-inspired shop Ok My Dear on Mountain Road in Moncton.
Feeling musically restless, Roy left her Moncton home, and moved to Montreal, a city she had previously inhabited for a brief period of time. At the start of 2015, she recorded her debut EP Americana Submarine, and undertaking a 10-date tour with fellow New Brunswicker Julie Doiron through Europe.
After being sidelined with a hand injury last summer, Roy entered the studio again at the start of this year, recording her full-length debut, Extraordinormal, in one week.
“It was a big challenge to get a full-length record written,” she admits. “Despite this being a bit of an art project where I can do what I want to do, I still didn’t feel terribly confident going into the making of Extraordinormal. I feel good about the way the record turned out though.”
As stressful as the recording process may have been for the musician, she is confident that her solo project has helped fuel a creative side that might not have come to light solely within the confines of Les Hay Babies.
At the end of the day, Roy expresses genuine gratitude to have both outlets to feed her creativity.
“I’ve found it liberating to get these solo songs finally documented. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone and explore new territory as you can. Ultimately, the three of us will return to Les Hay Babies with a different kind of creative energy after this little break. Pursuing these different interests is what is ultimately going to help the band evolve,” Roy says.
What: Laura Sauvage
When: Saturday June 4, 10 p.m.
Where: Tide & Boar Gastropub, 700 Main St., Moncton
Tickets are $17. Advance tickets are available online at www.tideandboar.com/music