When I first heard “Fire In My Bones” from Nashville indie-pop songstress, Fleurie, I had been through the wringer and back. The dark, seducing piano mixed with glittering synths and lyrics fit for a diary reeled me in, giving me exactly what I needed. As doubt, hurt and betrayal clouded my mind, I needed something to show me that I wasn’t floating through life alone.
Fleurie (a.k.a Lauren Strahm) released her sophomore EP, Arrows, this month – a follow up to 2013’s Fear & Fable – giving her sound a boost with a more electronic aesthetic mixed with the organic sounds of a piano and her fluttering vocals. In closing track, “Hope Where Have You Gone,” the singer pulled me in yet again for an almost cathartic trip to the shore, clocking in at just a little over eight minutes, while exposing the darkest thoughts I keep hidden in a rather Imogen Heap fashion. With lyrics like, “You left me for a crown / for a jewel / left me for a crowded room” and “I’m scared and alone and undone / and terrified of what has become of me / of who has undone me, of what I’m becoming” it’s hard not to completely collapse and feel as if you’ll never know the meaning of hope again.
Fleurie took some time to give us an exclusive track-by-track commentary of each song from Arrows that we are honored to share with you today. This is what it’s all about, folks!
“Fire In My Bones” – This record was birthed out of a long season of an inner battle between fear & hope; one that began in my college years and carried into my early twenties and my move from Michigan to Nashville. “Fire” was the first song written and, like most of these songs, it just kind of found me. I’ve spent a good amount of time reflecting on the meaning of the abstract imagery in the lyrics, and found many interpretations and meanings in my own life. I hope listeners relate and find their own inner-battle stories hidden in the melodies and sounds of this song.
“Wildwood” – This song is really special to me because it was written with my producer, Matt Stanfield, and was our first time working on something together. After this song wouldn’t leave my head, I asked Matt if he minded if I put it on my record…and if he would produce that record. We then started an intense process of finding/creating my “sound” for this collection of songs that, at the time, were just singer-songwriter piano/vocal pieces. I find that even when I don’t try to write from my own life, it ends up on the page and in the song. “Wildwood” is a song about being noticed by everyone but the one person you wish would notice you.
“Sparks” – I love the playfulness of this song and it’s light-hearted nature! I’m so glad we included it on the EP because it shows a side of me I haven’t shown much as an artist, but that most of my friends see in me as a person! I wrote “Sparks” as part of an exercise that entailed writing 20 songs in 12 hours. I never imagined that any of those songs would be ones I would come to really love! I wrote this song in attempt to capture the moment in time when you realize for the first time that you’re in love with someone…whether it’s someone you’ve known a long time or someone you’re meeting for the first time. I wanted to articulate what that feels like, how I picture it in my mind.
“Still Your Girl” – This song might be the craziest one for me. I actually wrote this kinda in the middle of a dream one night. I had been living in Nashville about 6 months or so when one night I woke up around 2am and this song just hit me upside the head – words, melody, everything. Start to finish. I grabbed my iPad from the floor next to my bed and sang it into the mic and barely typed out the words before I fell back asleep. The next morning I woke up thinking, “Man, I wrote such a cool song in my dream last night…if only that had been real!” only to look at my iPad and see it all there. Crazy. Sometimes your subconscious just attacks you like that, I guess.
“Hope Where Have You Gone?” – The deep, emotional closer to Arrows…this was written at probably the lowest point I can remember being at, emotionally. A lot was changing, in and around me. It was the end of my time at college in Sydney. I came home one day, walked to this piano we had in our garage, let my bag fall off my shoulder and just sat down at the piano, started playing and let this song fall out of me. Afterward I think I sobbed for a while. Music has always been a way for me to express what’s going on inside, whether I’ve wanted to or not. And I’m thankful for that. Recording this song was quite challenging too…it took us 3 different studios for me to be able to get a good take without crying in the middle of it. I just kept reliving that really painful time, and I think there were still remnants of the hurt inside of me. Playing it over and over was some kind of catharsis for me, helping me process and redeem the pain through the beautiful song it gave me.
Arrows is available now here.