We Went There: Florist at the Turf Club
The vibes at the Turf Club Wednesday were decidedly chilled out, with three bands enchanting the crowd across a couple of different genres, culminating with a great set by Florist that focused on the bands recent buzzy, self-titled LP.
Opening the show was singer-songwriter Kate Malanaphy, a local artist who brought her glimmering pop music, which saw her keyboards blended with minimalist guitar work. Despite having a raspy voice caused by a sore throat, the songs were ethereal and pristine. The brittleness of her voice, even if sounded a bit painful and we’re hoping she gets better soon, matched the tenor of the songs well and was a charming opening to the night.
Next up was Marc Merza, who like the opener was one person’s name but was actually a full band, in this case a three-piece. The trio created a buzzing, beautiful 45-minute ambient drone, utilizing piles of synths, pedals, woodwinds and bird whistles. The sound reminded me a lot of Florist front-person Emily Sprague’s solo ambient work, which blends peaceful sounds from nature with rich electronic sounds.
Headlining the night was Florist, a project of the previously mentioned Sprague, who sometimes records solo but had a full band backing her up on this tour. Two guitars, bass and drums fleshed out the sound of Sprague’s minimalist folky songwriting, adding musical weight to her sometimes spartan songs (spartan in the best possible way, fwiw). Focusing on the recently released self titled LP, the band played an alluring set that managed to help guide forward songs that on record can be pretty heavy and downcast, filling the Turf Club with a slightly more rock sound than I expected. Having some fuzz and jangle helped add another dimension to the songs, even if they can stand strongly on their own. Sprague herself was funny and engaging, but mostly focused on delivering her heartfelt meditations. The headlining set came in right around an hour, and was understated in just about every way, but was a still a celebratory set that capped off a low-key, beautiful night of music.
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