Poise- Vestiges (Album Review)
Grief hits people in a myriad of ways, whether it’s taking time away from the world that surrounds us, or getting stuck into a creative endeavor right away, we all have our own way of dealing with loss. When Lucie Murphy’s father passed away, Lucy got to work writing songs for the album that would eventually become Vestiges. For those unaware, vestiges means a fragment of something that no longer exists. Within the 11 tracks on Poise’s latest record, we see Murphy coping and navigating through various emotions that could paralyze even the strongest of people in the most delicate of ways, showcasing raw emotion yet leaving these traces along the way for the listener to pick up and piece together. The result is a winding journey with someone coming to terms with the situation life finds them in and attempting to be okay. As someone who lost a father in their late teens to early twenties, the tracks in which Murphy chooses to explore these emotions in a head on sense really struck a chord with me personally. One does not have to have gone through the exact same things as Murphy throughout this record to understand the lyrical skill showcased throughout Vestiges, however. Murphy pulls a curtain off of a very rough time in her life and invites us to come in through her great lyricism, as she journeys through very personal waters.
Poise doesn’t just navigate the tragedy of losing someone on Vestiges, although a lot of the songs seem like they could take place at around the same time period. Murphy navigates a lot of interesting terrain by way of the personal relationships that she possesses with people around her father’s untimely death. One of the more unique tracks dealing with this concept comes to us on ‘Nothing You Can Do.’ This track sees Murphy having a conversation with someone she barely knows about the death of her father, and the listener watches as Murphy contemplates what this stranger’s intentions are. It’s a track that really struck a chord with me, because it feels like the questions that were very much on my own mind when people would console me about the death of my father. Murphy questions these sorts of people within this track, as she sings:
well I don't know you
but you have something to say?
now that I’ve lost someone?
there's nothing you’ll alleviate
and i’m sure that
your intentions are good
but you wanna hear your own voice
why would I want to talk to you?
There are a lot of very honest examples of songwriting throughout Vestiges, but these few stanzas really showcase the rawness of the overall project that Poise put out on this particular record.
Although a lot of the things that have been said thus far make this record out to be a very depressing experience for the listener, Murphy’s mental strength and determination also shines through on her writing. The name of the opening track ‘Walked Through Fire’ is proof of that. Murphy has been through potentially one of the toughest times of her life, but she isn’t giving up, as she realizes on this track she has so much more life to live, even though this is a big blow, it’s not going to sideline her. There’s an awareness in that statement, as there is a certain sense of pride that you can feel throughout this record. There are various moments on Vestiges that allude to Murphy trying to carry her father’s positive light that he carried and taking the best parts of him to use for herself to become a well rounded individual, which is a very mature realization to make. Although the lyricism really is the star of the show here, one should not bat an eye at the instrumentation that surrounds Vestiges. Musically, there is a lot of intelligence on display here by Murphy and her talented bandmates, Sam Skinner, and Theo Munger as they navigate tracks that require subtle instrumentation setups, and put them alongside shorter, more intense tracks. These faster one and a half minute tracks work to the favor of this album in particular, especially when we are dealing with really heavy concepts. Again, this is a record that has been expertly crafted by someone who has a sense of purpose and a real musical and personal maturity to them, and I cannot commend Murphy and her bandmates enough for what they pull off throughout Vestiges.
Vestiges is a snapshot into Murphy coping with a moment in her life that is emotionally heavy and potentially paralyzing, but navigating through it creatively through her talent as a musician. It’s the type of record that will act as a relic into a moment in time for her and the people around her, and may potentially even help other people navigate their own tragedies with a sense of positivity throughout. I have an insane amount of respect for people who create albums with this much meaning behind them and look forward to hearing more tracks by Poise in the future.
Favorite Tracks: Vestiges, Vessel
Least Favorite Track: Show Me Your Love
Listen to 'Vestiges' from Poise's latest album with the same name, below: