Arts + Music » Music

Catriona Sturton vs. The World

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pretty lady!
  • pretty lady!

When I reach Catriona Sturton, the former Plumtree bassist is finishing an Easter meal with her extended family in Ottawa. Over the phone, I can hear small children yelling at her and she occasionally breaks our conversation to gently shush them. “It’s really funny hearing my dad explain the plot of Scott Pilgrim over Easter brunch,” she says.

Sturton’s family, like pretty much everyone right now, is abuzz over the impending release of the Edgar Wright-directed and Michael Cera-starring movie version of Scott Pilgrim vs the World, based on the series of comics by Brian Lee O’Malley that were in turn inspired by the Plumtree tune of the same name. Although Sturton is years removed from her Plumtree days (she has a rad job coordinating the Canadian side of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Foundation) and has an ongoing music career of her own, she says she welcomes the surge of interest in the beloved group she joined as a teenager.

“All of us think it’s pretty neat,” she says. “Plumtree in general was just a really treasured experience for us—-oh, that sounds like a Hallmark card. We always loved getting handwritten letters from Sudbury and stuff like that, but now we get emails from New Zealand. It’s been surprising and so unexpected.”

Meanwhile, Sturton’s own music has taken interesting turns—-she plays the shamisen, a Japanese three-stringed instrument, and recently picked up the Malian ngoni after meeting master player Abdulai Kone at the Ottawa Bluesfest. Along with bandmate Kristy Nease, she’s started experimenting with alternate tunings and blues styles. But she says her Company House show this Thursday will deal with more familiar terrain.

“Halifax will be lots of pop songs about crushes,” she says. “I love creating a space in a song where anything can happen. Then hopefully when you’re listening to it, it radiates out into your life.”

Sturton plays the Company House this Thursday, April 8th with Ruth Minnikin.

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