Posts Tagged ‘Florist’

True to its title, “Emily Alone” was written and recorded by Emily Sprague during a few days last winter; after plans for a full-band Florist album were put on hold, she’d ended up with all these songs ruminating on loneliness that she didn’t know what to do with. It’s funny, though, because the songs that she wrote have the effect of making a listener feel less alone. Sprague creates a meditative, atmospheric blanket, her folky ramblings a comforting presence. It’s a guiding hand through the darkness that we fear so much.

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Her third album, Emily Sprague is sitting by the ocean, taking walks, tending to her plants, daydreaming. She’s feeling peaceful and existential and acutely aware of every source of light in the house. The previous two albums from her indie-pop outfit Florist were full-band affairs, but in these 12 songs, Sprague steps away from her collaborators for a spell, tasked with filling time alone. It’s a familiar reprieve for the Los Angeles-based artist, who has also released several excellent ambient collections under her own name. But while those long-form compositions have evoked solitude and the natural world using modular synthesizers, Emily Alone is built from simpler tools: double-tracked vocals, acoustic guitar, and the occasional birdsong leaking in from an open window.

There is transformative power bursting through the 12 songs on “Emily Alone”, the new album from indie-folk project Florist. It’s not loud or showy or self-serving or generous. It’s just there, simple and plainspoken, waiting to be engaged and willing to move through anyone who needs it. Presumably, that’s what happened to Emily Sprague, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter named in the album’s title. Last winter, she wrote and recorded Emily Alone during a period of isolation and personal reflection spurred by the unexpected death of her mother and a move across the country, away from her collaborators in Florist (the band’s home base is still listed as New York on their Bandcamp). On Emily Alone, Sprague strips down her songs to their barest elements, leaving only her voice, words and plucked acoustic guitar (plus an occasional exception) to carry the message. What’s left is not just bedroom-recorded confessional music, but pure introspection, confusion, revelation and emotion rubbed raw and exposed to the world.

These songs are not sad so much as they channel the ebbs and flows of life lived inside a human brain with startling accuracy. Perhaps you have to be in the right place—emotionally, spiritually, spatially or whatever—for Emily Alone to impact you fully. But if you’re there, you’ll feel it. And if you’re not there, that’s okay. When you’re ready, Florist will be there waiting for you.

There is a metaphysical quality to the songs as they search for meaning in existence, swaying between the mundane and the spiritual. Emily believes deeply in the magic and connectedness of all things. The album Emily Alone is the creation of a self reflective lens through which we can view that omnipresence of love and life and the energy of all things around us as well as within us.

Featuring Emily Sprague Additional Vocals by Marguerite Sprague on Double Double Whammy Records

Florist’s forthcoming third album “Emily Alone” is out next week, and front woman Emily Sprague has released its third and longest cut thus far, a resigned and solemn track titled “Celebration”.

“Celebration” is full-bodied and bursting with a lush atmosphere of water lapping, birds chirping and ambient noises. Sprague opens the track with spoken word articulated over field recordings, and recounts the mundanities of living and being alone against lackadaisical finger-plucking: “With these hands now as I know them, a new scar and wow, tons of plants / Plant-induced psychosis / Keep me close, I’m good invisible / Sitting in loss like a bean bag chair.”

“Celebration” eventually gives way to Sprague’s gentle, careful vocals and rhythmic, hypnotic strumming as she finds herself alone and one with the earth once again: “If I lose my mind / Please give it back to the earth / Fire water wind / Earth fire water wind / And lie down.”

Though much longer and intricate than Sprague’s previous two releases the pensive “Shadow Bloom” and last month’s “Time Is A Dark Feeling”“Celebration” still captures the same feeling of wistful belonging and dark contemplation.

‘Celebration’ is a love song for darkness and the peaceful end to all things,” Sprague said in a statement. “A song in three movements: reality, fantasy, memory. In a lot of ways this song is the thesis to Emily Alone. Minimal arrangements—acoustic guitars, synthesizers, and voice accompanied by the ambient sounds of earth. Birds and water. The song begins with an experience of the now. It falls into imagining the way that things will always return to what they should be. It ends with a burial of negative forms and the acceptance of a beautiful new path towards growing from nothing.”

Emily Alone on Limited Edition Vinyl Double Double Whammy Records.

“Time Is a Dark Feeling” threads together fragile, echoing acoustic strumming with Emily Sprague’s gentle, unguarded vocals, freeing melodies and harmonies, and other beautiful things to whirl around her as the song dwindles down to its repeated refrain: “Time is a dark / Time is a dark feeling.”

The concept of time is so rigidly ingrained—from daily routines to monthly bills to milestone birthdays—that even suggesting it might not exist can be disorienting. On “Time Is a Dark Feeling,” the latest single from her upcoming album as Florist, Emily A. Sprague presents her defense against the clock. Sprague recognizes the essential role time plays but chooses to delineate her life in memories and emotions instead. “It’s not about time anymore, it’s just about feeling,”

Florist – “Time Is A Dark Feeling” from the album Emily Alone, out July 26th via Double Double Whammy Records.

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Among sparsely arranged, deeply personal albums that revolve around the death of a loved one, for example Mount Eerie’s A Crow Looked at Me got a lot of attention this year . “If Blue Could Be Happiness”, the 2017 LP by Florist, a New York-based “friendship project” (not band) fronted by Emily Sprague, who lost her mother recently and suddenly. It’s not just a mournful collection of gentle indie-pop songs, it is a tiny, welcoming sound world where anyone can enter and feel loved and supported and understood. It is sonic salve for a heart roughened up by life’s challenges. It is beautiful and calming and necessary.

Florist are a self-styled, “soft-synthesizer-folk band”, hailing from Upstate New York. This week they’ve shared their new single, What I Wanted To Hold, as well as detailing the release of their new record. If Blue Could Be Happiness, the band’s second full length album is out September 29th via Double Double Whammy Records.

Florist is a friendship project that was born in the Catskill Mountains. For a simple folk song, “What I Wanted to Hold” packs a big punch. It’s our first preview of the new Florist full-length, which is called If Blue Could Be Happiness and is released later in September.

“It’s a contemplative journey, mostly about impermanence and how important it is to recognize that as the dominant theme of life,” Emily Sprague said of “What I Wanted to Hold”

Here you can listen to the first single from our new album “If Blue Could Be Happiness” .. so excited to start sharing this with all of you. making this record was the hardest and the best thing that i’ve ever done in my life. there is so much inside of it, good and sad, and like the last album, it was for us to make and now it’s for all of you to take in and keep close. – emily

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Band Members
florist is a friendship project between emily, rick, jonnie, and felix

theepoch

The Epoch Collective, is a community of musicians, writers, visual artists, filmmakers, and more. We were grown together, and are growing still.

One of the final shows of the recent Bellows/Eskimeaux tour. Gabrielle Smith, aka Eskimeaux, was selling merch in a tiny, dusty cellar when a fan approached Smith and gushed to her something of how, The Epoch changed her life!” While flattered, Smith was not terribly surprised this is the sort of reaction The Epoch receives regularly.

Searching The Epoch tag directs one towards a seemingly infinite number of posts citing the group’s influence, pictures from shows, and even handmade cross-stitches. But gaining Internet fandom is not terribly difficult. Over the past three years, The Epoch bands has transformed from being their own biggest fans to having an incredibly devoted and wide spread fan base. For example Told Slant the band’s emotional outpour is overwhelming in itself, it was even more powerful to see how cathartic their music is for their fans. But perhaps the most admirable part about The Epoch is that they have found success completely by their own means. Starting a band with your best friends is a dream many have, but being in three or four bands with your friends, touring together, living together, and being genuinely kind people is actually an accomplishment. This is obviously a group worth examining.

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Most of the members met through attending the same schools or the same shows in the New York City area. While the details of their friendship foundations would require a much longer piece, the core Epoch members orated a brief timeline of the group, from their repressed high schools bands to now, when most of the members lived together in Brooklyn. The Epoch has transformed and will transform still. Because, as the collective says, “We were grown together, and are growing still.”

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The first unofficial Epoch band was The Mighty Handful. The self-described super group of relative unknowns would hand everyone in the audience instruments and shred paper from their parents’ offices for confetti; the concept was very much 2007-DIY party. But even back in 2008, there are glimmers of The Epoch as it is today. A majority of The Epoch members were involved in the band, even on the periphery: Henry Crawford, Jack Greenleaf, and Felix Walworth played in the band, Oliver Kalb may have made an appearance once, and Smith cites the shows as the beginning of her friendship with her future bandmates. But while the grandiose showmanship of The Mighty Handful may barely resemble the performances of its members now, Crawford said the “grains of the language and the attitude” would influence The Epoch. Specifically, the importance of mantras. The group’s future collective would be called The Epoch.

The collective had no trouble finding members; they were already there. But one large struggle was the creation of a logo. Finally, they agreed on the birds of flight because they felt the image best represented a group that may not sound similar, but love each other completely.

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Around the time of its conception, the Epoch members were spread across the country, each member had began independently writing music. Crawford was attending college in Chicago when he began Small Wonder. In January, Crawford released Wendy, a weighty, emotional record filled with soaring melodies. Greenleaf, like Crawford, also relocated to Chicago. It was there that he rediscovered his teenage love of Pop and The result became Sharpless, whose sophomore album “The One I Wanted To Be” was released in May.

sharpless

Back on the east coast, room mates Kalb and Walworth created Bellows and Told Slant,  Kalb released As If To Say I Hate Daylight, Bellows’ first album. After touring extensively with Bellows and Told Slant, graduating college, and returning to New York City, Kalb released his sophomore record, Blue Breath. In 2012, Walworth released the debut Told Slant LP Still Water. Now, two years later, the album has been re-released on vinyl. Kalb and Walworth, roommates, enlisted a variety of friends to play in their bands, but each has been a mainstay in each other’s bands, along with Gabrielle Smith. Smith describes herself as “a pretty late bloomer with music.”One of her first bands, Legs, was composed mostly of members found on Craigslist. Smith’s  current project, eskimeaux, are now, with a solid four piece live band, eskimeaux will be following up several EPs with a new album.

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Emily Sprague grew up in upstate New York. After performing for years in the Woodstock area under her own name, she moved to Albany. It was there that she met the Epoch gang. About a year ago, she adopted the name Florist, and has released several EPs of shivery honesty. Susannah Cutler is an artist and a musician. Cutler has been around The Epoch since its beginning , but she was “primarily represented as a visual artist up until recently.” She credits The Epoch as giving her the confidence to give her music a name and take her musical desires more seriously. Her project is called Yours Are the Only Ears.

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A lot of the NYC bands were trying to create a feeling , Most of our bands don’t sound similar but a uniting quality is that we all want to create music that people can feel like they are a part of rather then feel like they are just watching.

If you like this you should check out these bands.

Small Wonder, Florist, Bellows, Eskimeaux, Told Slant, Yours Are The Only Ears, Sharpless,Lamniformes,

Arriving two years after a serious bike accident that left Florist’s Emily Sprague in a neck brace and unable to use her left arm, The Birds Outside Sang is comprised of 11 mini-masterpieces that find beauty in patience and a comforting fragility in weighty concepts. Her style of songwriting may belong from a long lineage of artists combining introspection and storytelling Bright Eyes among them—but Florist stand out like blood on snow. Beginning with Sprague singing over minimal keyboard loops (many of the songs were written with one hand before she could play guitar again), the album gradually incorporates more and more instrumentation, subtly emphasizing the same sense of growth implicit within each song. Chilly drones, warm guitars and hushed cymbals lend it a sensory intimacy, while the lyrics express abstract emotion in vivid imagery, whether it’s of tree bark or getting your head stuck in a banister. It’s as unique and accomplished as you could hope for from a debut full-length.

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Florist is a friendship project that was born in the Catskill MountainsThe Birds Outside Sang is an album about the speed at which rain falls, life goes on, and people grow. It’s one part a personal, autobiographical, and almost completely chronological telling of a time in my life full of confusion, physical and emotional pain, loneliness, and hope.beautiful music about times gone by and times to come. It is another part a rebirth of a musical friendship between my best friends in the whole world, and an attempt to highlight the importance of love and the things in life that give you something special to hold on to, to find a calm that can carry you through being alive and being scared.

Florist is emily sprague, rick spataro, jonnie baker, and felix walworth

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Florist – Emily Sprague’s appropriately-bucolic quartet florist popped up on our radar earlier this fall with “Holdly”, a compact ep crammed with sharp songwriting and memorable melodies that thankfully serves as a placeholder for the birds outside sang, a full-length coming January 29th via double double whammy.

“The Birds Outside Sang” is an album about the speed at which rain falls, life goes on, and people grow. It’s one part a personal, autobiographical, and almost completely chronological telling of a time in my life full of confusion, physical + emotional pain, loneliness, and hope. It is another part a rebirth of a musical friendship between my best friends in the whole world, and an attempt to highlight the importance of love and the things in life that give you something special to hold on to, to find a calm that can carry you through being alive and being scared.

Thank you for listening. My one and only goal is that someone can listen to this album and feel/see something, and take it with them as a thought.
Emily of Florist

released January 29, 2016
Florist is Emily Sprague, Rick Spataro, Jonnie Baker, and Felix Walworth