From the very first guitar riff off the single, ‘Go Away’, in Poema’s newly released EP, Pretty Speeches, I am sold. Hook, line and sinker.
Let me set the scene. My neighbour’s dog is barking loudly outside, breaking up the angry argument in Chinese of the family next door, alongside the hammering of the tradies across the road from my house. I feel frustrated. I want to shoot the dog and I feel the furthest thing from zen and tranquil imaginable. Yet the minute I press play on the Pretty Speeches EP, Poema transports me to the back of a pale blue 1968 Chevy truck speeding down a dusty highway and away from that goddamn dog.
Poema makes me feel nostalgic for a road trip through an American summer I am yet to take. Evoking the sepia-imbued tones of a polaroid photograph through the ambience of their languid guitar riffs, there is a feeling of new age ’70s vibes, which echoes the sun-drenched sounds of Coachella where the sister duo would fit right at home.
Continuing with the nostalgia theme, Poema’s second single on the EP, “Forget you in LA” is an ode to the endless possibility of adventures that the boundless expanse of America lends itself to, whether it be outrunning feelings of an old lover or perhaps a really persistent dog.
With lyrics such as, “I’m supposed to hate you, ’cause I forget how you did me wrong” and “So maybe I’ll try out the East Coast too, I could be there in a day” delivered with the purity of the vocals from the duo as the percussion kicks in, convinces me that I can in fact escape my troubles, hell, I could escape anything – be anything!
Such large expansive themes covered in this EP demand large and expansive roots, which is exactly where the duo, Elle and Shealeen Puckett, hail. Born and bred in the southwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico (I had to pause for a Breaking Bad fan girl moment) the sisters are no strangers to the American archetype of vast desert and endless roads. The authenticity of their upbringing imbues their music and lyrics with a truth and soul that is difficult for any musician to capture, let alone ones of such a young age.
Elle and Shealeen’s move to Nashville assisted to inform and inspire much of the EP as well, with the duo noting both struggle and successes contributing to the overall culmination of the sound of their EP. The clarity of Elle and Shealeen’s vocals are skin-tingling and echo both the gloom and hope that embodies the experience of youth.
Pretty Speeches is an EP that is a dreamy love letter to the spontaneity of youth, travel and the unknown, set against the backdrop of the American expanse, watch this space and prepare to see them soar.
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Latest album: Pretty Speeches, released July 2015.
Sounds like: First Aid Kit, Haim.
Say what? Usually their mum or dad goes on tour with them and the drummer is their brother who is barely 15 years old, Shealeen said in an interview with HM Magazine.
Catch ya’ on the flip side, Gabriella