Brooklyn Folk Songwriter Eliza Edens Shares “Westlawn Cemetary” & Announces Second LP We’ll Become the Flowers October 14
Eliza Edens’ sophomore album We’ll Become the Flowers explores the transformative power of the end.
Whether grappling with heartache or a loved one’s mortality, the Brooklyn-based songwriter reimagines endings not as finite events but as devotional experiences that give way to new beginnings. Edens takes inspiration from folk luminaries such as Nick Drake, Karen Dalton and Elizabeth Cotten, sowing her compositions with introspection born from her own grief. What emerges is a glowing collection of songs that serve as a map through tumult, toward hope.
“I wrote this album out of emotional necessity,” Edens says. “I had just gone through a breakup. And around the same time, my mother was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease. I was spending a lot of my time trying to understand what it means to watch the hopeful person who raised me seem to slowly fade away before my eyes.” As the pandemic loomed, Edens turned to music: “This project was a rope I used to pull myself out of misery, to view the despair I was feeling from a different angle. It was also my escape.”
This week’s single in the release calendar, “Westlawn Cemetary” is a gorgeous, meditative track, the kind of music I love to listen to and write and that I always need myself. It’s full of powerful small lines like “it’s got me thinking how my mother’s getting older and how I’m making her dinner at night”, those simple, show-don’t-tell lyrical strokes of genius illustrating the small details of that illness that cut straight to your heart. “Westlawn Cemetary” perfectly encapsulates that intention of endings as devotional experiences, most poignantly as the album’s title makes an appearance, ending quietly with the lyric “We’ll become the flowers in time”.
Listening to this album vividly brought me back to a moment in 2019, sitting on Dillon Beach in Point Reyes with my friend Jessie, a few days after my brother’s closest childhood friend had ended his life, and how she was ready to meet me right there when I said “All I want to do it talk about it”. I was learning then about the transformative processing that needs to happen while grieving, the conceptual sifting through mortality and endings and loss, especially those that seem to have no answer, like suicide or a sudden illness (and does any death really seem on time?). I was lucky to find myself with her on the sand that day.
Edens has given us a great gift by transforming her own grief into art. We’ll Become the Flowers carries that magic needed to take the listener’s hand and walk with them through life’s greatest endings, or to simply sit with them on the sand while they look beyond the horizon into their own.