Review: Poema – “Pretty Speeches”

Poema's debut EP, "Pretty Speeches"
Review by Bailey Garno

Released on July 10th, 2015, Pretty Speeches marks the first independent release from sisters Elle and Shealeen Puckett.  The EP consists of five flawless tracks, and is a collection that has really put the Albuquerque, New Mexico natives on the music map.  Receiving praise from LADYGUNN, Hilly Dilly, Atwood Magazine and the like, we insist that you take a dip in the cool pool of Poema.

Kicking off the EP is “Go Away,” an R&B-tinged track that mixes unhurried, twangy Americana with some fast lick bridges.  I would wager that there are elements of rap in this song, or at least the kind of rap that English songwriter, Lily Allen, presented on her last album.  The song has chill vibes, a phrase that pops up again and again by writers in reference to this album.

Up next is “Enough Messing Around.”  This one is more like soft jazz and continues to feature the tender and sensual vocals of the Puckett sisters.  These two were raised on the prominence of music, having started performing at local gas stations back home in order to fill the day and make money for the candy inside.  Since that time, the girls have packed up their things and moved to Nashville, where a creative awakening occurred.  It was also here that the girls teamed up with producer Nolan Rossi to compose their five new songs.

“Get To Me” serves more twangy electric with a breezy island sound.  It’s a romantic love song, sweetened by the subtle harmonies of the sisters.  This song will make listeners nostalgic and dreamy, and the lyrical work is particularly endearing.

On July 1st, LADYGUNN premiered the music video to “Forget You In LA” and the video caught fire among indie music sites.  The song is upbeat, and the video is just as bright.  Featuring stagnant scenes from a sunny day in some unnamed small town, this song and video is a clear example of how intentional Poema is with their work.  The first shot is striking because of its stillness; Elle and Shealeen sit parked in an old, ugly brown car on the side of a seemingly empty road.  And this continues to be the theme throughout the video: stagnation.  It’s quirky and oddly humorous because the song itself is a proclamation to moving on and away, although the video indicates otherwise.  In the end, we learn that the song is actually about feeling stuck—something we can all relate to.

Closing out an overall stellar selection, Poema presents “Madeline.”  If you’ve read my work for MCU before, you’ll know I’m a sucker for lullabies, and this one takes the cake.  There is a piano solo in the last third of the song that captures the sorrow that the sisters articulate in this story of broken love.  “Madeline” may actually bring you to tears (I didn’t cry…only a little).

There is an anthem for everyone off the EP Pretty Speeches, and we want you to let us know which one is yours!  So stream it off of SoundCloud or download it on any digital music service and let us know what you think of the Puckett sisters of Poema!

Rating: 4.5/5
Recommended Tracks:
Forget You In LA


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