Poema’s breezy indie-pop has been moving audiences for a decade now, as sisters Elle and Shealeen Puckett have managed to forge a sound as tight knit as family. The young duo captivated audiences for years in their hometown of Albuquerque, garnering the attention of labels before either of them had hit the age of 20. Two years into becoming a band, the sisters were touring, including a summer of performances on Vans Warped Tour in 2010, before being named one of AP Magazine’s “100 Bands You Need to Know” in 2012. Eventually landing in Nashville’s prime music hub, Poema teamed with producer Nolan Rossi in 2015 to release Pretty Speeches, a five-track EP largely inspired by the new levels of artistry they discovered in Nashville. Jump to today, and the inspired creativity on Pretty Speeches is as resonant as ever. The EP’s tracks “Go Away” and “Forget You in LA” were recently placed on Freeform’s The Fosters, marking the second sync of “Forget You in LA” after being placed in Showtime’s Ray Donovan in October 2017.
“Forget You in LA” is a lax vibing number that contemplates skipping town to leave heartbreak behind. Poema’s story is relatable, yet the Puckett sisters take a refreshingly cool-headed approach to a story about emotional strain. If the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” narrative sounds like a decision being made in rush hour traffic, Poema sounds like they’re lounging in a park somewhere with no shortage of sun. Elle’s voice is as smooth as it is tempered, reeling off reflective lyrics that match: “Maybe I’ll try out the east coast, I could be there in a day/ Or maybe I’ll try out the west coast, And I’ll forget you in LA.” Paired with an ambient spiral of Shealeen’s keys, vibrant guitar shots and flourishes, and a laid-back groove, it’s easy to close your eyes and let “Forget You in LA” take you far away.
“Go Away” plays a lot like a 90’s R&B throwback with a soothing island shine. Shimmering guitar and raindrop synths set the tone, while the track eases in effortlessly. An alluring rhythmic vocal delivery stands beside sharp snare shots, while moody descending lines bridge verses. Poema builds on their theme of forming a calm musical atmosphere to offset a song about romantic trials, with a to-the-point message that accepts moving forward from a draining relationship that won’t: “If you’re gonna go away/Then go away.” The simplicity of the message plays on one of Poema’s greatest strengths, their ability to seamlessly drift between something that feels as familiar as pop music, and a sound that is totally distinct and independent.
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