Florist: Florist Review – an ode to the power and comfort of friendship | Music
Emily Sprague’s first songwriting was born out of loss. The cult American singer-songwriter was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident on a bicycle in 2014; a few years later, his mother died. His first two albums turned those experiences into exquisite, diaristic indie-folk, backed primarily by a group of three pieceswhich counted with existential questions: a beautiful contrast of light and dark.
After Florist returned to Sprague’s solo project for 2019 album Emily alone, the band reunited for this self-titled 19-song effort recorded during rainy summer nights on a porch in the Hudson Valley. It plays like a family portrait, an ode to the nurturing and comforting power of their friendship. They preserve the distortions, flaws and cricketing choruses of June 9th Nighttime: the unpolished contours sound like the sound of a band falling in love with each other all over again.
More than that, even, you get the sense that they’re exploring new ground together: their generally smooth and steady sound becomes an exciting lesson in catharsis (an evolution no different from that of its Big Thief peers). ). Finely crafted instrumentals like Duet for 2 Eyes and the Bells Trilogy prove that Florist is able to evoke genuine relief without saying a word.
Sprague’s writing retains her sense of conflict between life and death, but she writes from a place of serenity. “She’s in the birdsong / She won’t be gone,” she sings of her mother in Red Bird Pt 2 (Morning), finding a hard-earned peace within herself, her band, and the world natural.