FLORIST: IF BLUE COULD BE HAPPINESS

     Acoustic hums and gentle strumming that seems to pluck at the strings of your heart - these are the sounds accompanied with Florist’s new album release, If Blue Could Be Happiness. Filled with raw vocals and mellow chords, the album feels like sitting on your best friend’s bed while she softly finger-picks her dad’s acoustic guitar.

     If Blue Could Be Happiness, when listened to from start to finish, is nostalgic and bittersweet, somehow stirring both deepest sorrow and gentle delight. This 35-minute long bedroom pop album uses color to address impermanence, reminding us that the best things in life are fleeting. In the opener, the voice of lead-vocalist Emily Sprague introduces the color blue as love and happiness. However, as the album progresses, the lyrics describe blue fading to violet, then grey, and eventually to a somber off-white. In similar grief, the third track, “The Fear of Losing This”, is tender and wounded, filled with enough vulnerability to make any listener glassy-eyed. The song feels like looking at the world through the eyes of a child, while somehow accepting a loss of innocence.

     However, about halfway through the album, with tracks like “Glowing Brightly” and “Thank You Light”, we hear a switch from deep melancholy to passive acceptance. Rosy chords and flickering synth bring blue back to the album. Reminiscent of a child’s lullaby, Florist’s Instrumental track twinkles with delicate hope and a gradual return of happiness. However, while “Instrumental” feels like floating, the album’s closing track, “RedBird” is more like melting. Deep, full-body chords fill the track - the perfect ending to such an emotional album.

   If Blue Could Be Happiness is cohesive and serene, juxtaposing the impermanence of time with the immortality of love. Florist has done it again - ten tracks of raw emotion, both stirring the soul and reminding the audience what it's like to be completely vulnerable.

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RACHEL DEMARIA