Posts Tagged ‘Emily Sprague’

Florist is a friendship project that was born in the Catskill Mountains. Recorded by Florist at 603 Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.

When Emily Sprague moved to Brooklyn from Albany late in 2013, she was already honing her songwriting style: aching, blunt, quiet, but not sheepish. Then, in February 2014, she was in a severe bicycle accident and broke her neck and one of her arms. As she recovered, she began writing new songs, even more spare thanks both to her economical lyrical aesthetic and how circumstance had limited what her body could do.

Some of that music has made it to “The Birds Outside Sang,” the first full-length from the band Florist, an album that bubbles with Ms. Sprague’s anxiety about mortality. Often she finds herself at war with her body, like on “Rings Grow”: “I used to think I was leaves but I’m bark/and I’m peeling away/and my bones are the branches that regrow in the springtime.”

Her singing is frail but determined on this album, which hits like an intense whisper. She finds strength in her weaknesses and ruminates about a personal identity that’s ever changing: “I was born a boy with many opinions/and now I’m a girl who doesn’t really care about anything.”

Skeletal arrangements suit Ms. Sprague best, both because of how she’s singing and what she’s singing about. So the band, which also includes Rick Spataro, Jonnie Baker and Felix Walworth, generally gives her room to breathe.

But one of the most striking moments comes on the beginning of “1914,” when she sings, “Grab me by my shoulder blades and hang me out to dry/I’m a mess and I need someone/to help me out with that.” All of her bandmates are singing, too, in a sort of shambolic chorus. The mood is lonely but soothing — an acceptance that even though no one knows where we’re going, at least we’re not alone.