Rebekah Higgs lives in two musical worlds

With the ink still drying on a contract with Canadian music label Hidden Pony Records, Halifax native Rebekah Higgs is gearing up for what will certainly be one of her busiest years yet.

This isn’t to say that Higgs’ newfound deal is not well deserved. Aside from making indie-pop music under her own name, Higgs also leads electro-dance band Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees, allowing her to indulge her in a completely different universe of music.

Asked what attracted her to Hidden Pony as a label, which is also home to acclaimed artists such as Imaginary Cities and Hannah Georgas, Higgs says that a number of factors drew her into their orbit.

“I was attracted to Hidden Pony’s energy and exuberance for what they do. These days it’s easy to get bummed out by the music industry. I really wanted to work with happy, positive people who are young and still have a love and excitement for what they do. Hidden Pony has all those wonderful qualities,” an enthusiastic Higgs says.

Her most recent solo release is the four-song Little Voices EP, which was released to much critical acclaim last November.

With Higgs’ understated vocals guiding an alternately ethereal electronic and live band soundtrack that plays out behind her, the musician enlisted producer Brian Deck (Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse) to help bring her vision to reality.

“I really loved Brian’s arrangement work on the Modest Mouse record The Moon and Antarctica, and his psychedelic tendencies with his own band Red Red Meat,” Higgs says. “I sent him a hand-written note and a copy of my first album and told him I wanted to make a psyche-doowop album with him. He loved it and wanted to work with me.

“It was a really fun and creative experience working with Brian, He brought amazing arrangements and textures to my songs and we bonded over comfort food and Louis CK YouTube videos.”

Recorded at the Confidence Lodge in Riverport, N.S., Higgs notes that there is a good possibility a few of the songs contained on Little Voice will carry over to her upcoming full-length record and Hidden Pony debut, to be released later this year.

Rather than opting to make fans wait for her full-length, going with the release of an EP made sense on a couple of levels as far as Higgs was concerned.

“It has been sometime since I last released a solo album, and I felt like releasing an EP was a great way to get people excited about my new full-length record. It also gave me a great reason to start touring again, which is what I love to do!”

As if she doesn’t already have enough on her plate, Higgs is also the driving force behind the Long Live The Queen festival, taking place in Halifax this coming weekend. She says that her motivation behind the festival is to help others discover and support new and emerging talent.

“I feel that the north-end of Halifax has been an artist hub for a long while. There have been so many great musicians that have emerged from that community that I felt like the community really deserved its own little festival. The festival is our way of paying tribute to all the wonderful art coming from the community by pairing up local, emerging talent with touring bands from across the country.”

Article published in May 20, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript

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