Album Review: Eliza Edens’ ‘We’ll Become the Flowers’

Written by Tim Jones

“Tender of the universe / your hands covered in soil / Where we all end up down the line / We’ll become the flowers in time,” Eliza Edens softly croons on the song “Westlawn Cemetery.” These lines provide the title of her latest album: We’ll Become the Flowers. Throughout the ten songs found on the record, Edens contemplates the journey toward her current station in her life, and she’s also very much aware of the realities of the final chapter of everyone’s story.

Inspired by the change that comes from ending a serious relationship and her mother’s cognitive decline due to a neurodegenerative disorder, Edens confronts her existentialism and searches for meaning. On “North to South,” she murmurs, “I’d like to let you follow / But the patterns don’t align.” Here she is making life-changing decisions for herself while also being acutely aware that most of, if not everything, in her life is out of her control. As heartbreaking as these lyrical expressions can be, there is a comfort to Edens’s melancholy and how any listener can relate to her articulations of it. 

At the core of these songs are the two complimentary instruments of Eden’s acoustic guitar and serene, mellow vocals. Both harken back to a pure 60s/70s folk pastiche without feeling overly derivative or out of step with 2022. On the contrary, Eliza’s vocal timbre and impressive lyricism are right at home with the current crop of introspective and vibe-heavy singer-songwriters such as Tomberlin or Shannon Moser.    

Edens really shines as a singer in knowing when to add extra weight or embellishments to her words. Take, for instance, how she attacks the final consonant on the line “Coffee cup / Wish me luck” on “I Needed You.” See also how the word “tangerine” takes on a life of its own on “Westlawn Cemetery,” or how she punctuates the line “You gave no reason / Just grabbed the key and sped away” on “Tom and Jerry.” The “away” there traverses to wherever it is that the song’s subject is now. These songs have lived inside Edens for so long now that she knows how to inject some additional meaning into them with her particular vocal inflections.

The minimalist arrangements and production can sometimes leave the listener wanting more dynamic variance. Eden’s backing band features Dex Wolfe, Pat Keen, and Shane Leonard–each of whom provides multiple instruments and textures–but they very much let Eden and her guitar have the spotlight. What results is that the songs have a substantial emotive weight and intimacy, but there is also a noticeable lack of catharsis or climax from these heavy emotions. It’s never entirely resolved whether Edens has made it through this time of her life or if she is still very much in it.

We’ll Become the Flowers is an affecting, personal account of grief. Like a therapist, it calmly presents avenues for dealing with this type of despair but leaves it largely up to the listener to decide precisely how to evaluate those options. As a lyricist and vocalist, Eliza Edens has created the best work of her career and shows promise for significant craftsmanship in the future.

Score: 6

Tim Jones is a musician, writer, and teacher. @_madebed on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: