The music of Florist always has felt built around the voice and lyrics of Emily Sprague. Due to the softness of the music, it has a singer-songwriter vibe to it at all times. She is one of those musicians who could tour by herself under her band’s name and nobody would complain. Florist’s latest album takes this and makes it literal. The title Emily Alone is indicative of the way the album was created. It’s just Sprague by herself, and somehow her music feels even more intimate and personal.
If you like dynamic sound, don’t bother with Emily Alone. It’s such a quiet, delicate album. Some songs are basically spoken word pieces, and when I say “basically” I mean they are. It’s poetry in lieu of music, which is often poetic in its own right of course. She’s laying it all out there, like many women of a similar vintage in music a la Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker. I love both of those artists. I like Florist quite a bit. However, I feel like maybe she got too personal for something being released out into the world.
That being said, I did enjoy Emily Alone. There are a few really good songs on it, in particular two of the singles “Time is a Dark Feeling” and “Shadow Bloom.” Some of the other songs just sort of wash over you and dissipate from your memory swiftly, though. So much of it is just a delicate voice and quiet strumming on an acoustic guitar. That makes it hard to really grab the listener. You almost have to just sit and listen to it. You definitely have to, like Emily, be alone. This is not a party album.
There are only a couple songs from Emily Alone that will make its way into my regular listening rotation. None of the songs remind me of Florist’s very best. I think in particular of the song “1914.” It’s a great song. I love it. It’s also quiet and features minimal instrumentation. You know what it has, though? Multiple voices singing in unison. Maybe Emily needs to spend less time alone. Or at least not record much music when she does.