The Castle’s small side room and Brooklyn band Florist are the perfect match. The music Emily Sprague and Jonnie Baker make is quiet, beautiful and intimate, and with the exception of the squeaky door (guys, get some WD-40 on it!), the room in the Castle has similar qualities. Tonight it’s packed, mainly with 20 somethings dressed straight out the thrift store, but there’s probably only 50 or 60 of us here, on a lovely mild spring evening, eagerly waiting for the band to start. Before they can, Sprague and Baker have to squeeze through said crowd, there’s no ‘backstage’ here, and when they make it to the front they sit down on their seats and invite us to sit too, if we so please, but no one takes them up on the offer. This is a shame, as the ‘stage’ is at ground level, so no one past the first few rows can actually see the seated duo, which throughout the gig leads to somewhat of a disconnect with us lurking towards the back.

This is a minor gripe though, as Florist are almost impossibly gorgeous in everything they do this eve. With two albums and a couple of EPs of understated, heart-wrenching songs, they set about gently captivating the room from the off. ‘Eyes in the Sun’ starts proceedings off, Sprague and Baker gently finger picking the simple melody on two electric guitars, Sprague’s delicate voice and those lyrics cutting right through: “I want to know what it means, I need to know what it means to be alive/I think I know what it means, I know I know what that means when you’re in my life”, it’s glorious. The simplicity of the set up and my inability to see them forces me to focus solely on her voice, and it’s transportative in the sweltering heat of the air condition-less room.

They play most of their 2017 album If Blue Could Be Happiness, and plenty from their 2016 debut The Birds Sing Outside, and it’s meditative and transfixing. If all this sounds a bit, well, twee, then you’d be wrong; Sprague’s lyrics are cut through with both darkness and occasional humour too, like ‘White Light Doorway’ in which she describes getting her head stuck in the bannister ‘again’. The highlight is the glorious ‘Understanding Light’, the twinkling keyboard and burbling electronics setting the scene for a tale of depression and ultimately hope, Sprague breaking my heart with the lines, “why can’t I find a place to hide from the darkness/I want to live in the blueness”, I can feel my tear ducts prickling just writing that, it’s as raw and tender and honest a song as you’re likely to hear all year. Towards the end, Baker sits on the floor and plays his guitar like a cello and it’s just the most perfect sound and it fills me with sadness but in a strangely comforting way.

They end with ‘The Dust Inside The Light’, another gorgeous, finger picked gem, which ends on the optimistic line “doesn’t the sky look nice tonight?” and I can see myself laid on the grass staring up at the stars on a balmy summer night, full of wine and contentment, and it’s a wonderful feeling to be left with. Before the last few songs, Sprague says they have “two or three left”, to which someone shouts “my train’s not til midnight”, which she responds with “ok we have two hours left!” and you know what, I could have stayed there and listened. A perfect Monday night gig, Florist are a stunning little band.

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