Review by Ellie Garno
Out this month is the second EP by electro-pop singer-songwriter Fleurie. On Arrows, Michigan-born and Nashville-bred Lauren Strahm, the name behind the French moniker, teamed up with mixer Dave Schiffman (Haim, Charlie XCX, Brandon Flowers) and musicians like drummer Fred Eltringham (The Wallflowers, Dixie Chicks) to put a fresh spin on music that she had previously written, much of which was conceptualized during a stint in Australia. With hype from NPR Music, Nylon, and Hellogiggles, Arrows seems to be headed for the big time.
The opening of the first track, “Fire in My Bones,” sounds fluid and effortless like water in space. Bold verses like “Fire in my bones quakes, bending but it won’t break. / Staging a revolting, quiet as it’s rolting. Singular in motion, fighting but I’m frozen” are sung techno-beautifully, grounded in very Florence + the Machine-type banging of the drums. Fleurie takes it down a bit with “Wildwood,” however, where the feel is airy, distant, and whimsical. Like a metaphor for lyrics about love lost but not forgotten, the song drifts away in a sea of echoes a third of the way through.
“Sparks” is a shamelessly poppy, bubblegum track, yet Fleurie still manages to push the artistic boundaries. (Traditional strings and a keyboard straight outta the ’80s? Sure.) Similarly, “Hope Where Have You Gone,” eight minutes of full-fledged poetry electronica, makes considerable use of the Vocoder, à la Imogen Heap. Love it or hate it, this takes guts.
Arrow’s standout is “Still Your Girl.” Preluded by an arrangement of “vocal bells,” the song effortlessly transitions into an array of energized synths and massive percussion. Apart from the sick beat, Fleurie’s vocals (at their best) pull it all together. But what makes this song, for me, is its lyricism. There is the sense that “Still Your Girl” has a story, and though it is a sad one, it is perfect.
Filled with fearless contradictions, Arrows has something for the musical yin and yang of everyone. Listen to the entire EP on SoundCloud or wherever you get your music, and follow Fleurie on social media. Her sound is new and noteworthy, for sure.
“Still Your Girl”
“Fire in My Bones”