Discussing her musical project Poise, Lucie Murphy has described it as a process of, “getting to know herself again”. Her debut album, Vestiges, was written in the immediate aftermath of her father’s unexpected death. He was a man whose, “unwavering curiosity and appreciation of the arts”, was a constant source of inspiration to Lucie who admits she only took up the guitar because he played it. This loss left Lucie devastated, struck by the delicacy of humanity and in need of rediscovering the joys of life. The result was a recording session in a cabin in rural Vermont, an escape from distractions that allowed her artistic vision, and the discipline required to make it come to life, were honed and brought to the tape.
The result of that escapism is Vestiges, a record that balances both an honouring of the past and the most tentative steps into the present and the future. While it is unquestionably a record about some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable it is also about what happens next, how the pieces come back together, as Lucie explains, “it’s about coming out stronger, despite everything”. The record opens on the fittingly entitled, Walked Through Fire, it’s a confident, clattering opener, strutting along like a slightly smoother Torres, as Lucie repeats the chorus line, “I’m going to show you, show you, show you, all that I can do, can do, can do”. The record moves rapidly between genres, from The Strokes-like driving-indie of Don’t Worry and Nothing You Can Say, the more sedate and thoughtful charms of Vessel, with its quietly crushing lyrics, “with every breath I work to preserve you, we are inseparable now, live is all I have to do”. This is a record striding out from the darkest days imaginable, celebrating life, mourning loss and marking outs its creator as an artist of the highest quality.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Poise?
Poise is a band by me, Lucie Murphy. I write the songs, sing and play guitar. I took the name from a lyric I wrote on my first EP. I then tricked two nice boys into playing the music live with me. Sam Skinner is my guitarist, engineer and co-producer. Theo Munger is my drummer and he sings too. We are NYC born and bred.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Theo and I actually met in junior high and played in a band after school every day. Mostly we did Radiohead covers but we had one original song. Our first show was at this weird bar called Angels & Kings in the LES, owned by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy. I have no idea how we ended up with a gig there—but we played at 11 am to our families. The band couldn’t figure out how to end the original song so they went on for about 32 bars after I had finished singing.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I am a visual artist as well; I studied photography in college. But music has always been the medium that colors my life the most. I love that it can make any shitty experience romantic. I also just love performing and being the center of attention. It’s such a catharsis for me and I’m addicted to the adrenaline rush. Its also fun to play with many different mediums in a band: photography, video and fashion among others. My visual studies really inform Poise’s aesthetic.
FTR: What can people expect from the Poise live show?
Jumpsuits, color-blocking, lipstick, lots of hair, dancing, giggling.
FTR: What’s next for Poise?
Writing 10,000 songs. Recording a new record this fall. Playing shows. Touring in the winter. More synths, drum machines and pop hooks. Fame and fortune.
They Listen To…
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Pin
Caroline Polachek – Hit Me Where It Hurts
The Kills – Last Day Of Magic
Ariana Grande – Bad Idea
Cat Power – The Greatest
Vestiges is out now. For more information on Poise visit https://www.poiseband.com/.