Albeit inevitable, the concept of aging in itself is a hard one to grasp. Be that as it may, growing into one’s own can also be a beautiful and nourishing experience—at least that’s how Toronto-bred rising artist Abby Sage chooses to see it.
In her sophomore EP, ‘The Florist,’ Abby experiences an evolution of sorts, touching on the ebbs and flows of early adulthood. A natural observer and self-proclaimed “fly on the wall,” Abby garnered inspiration for this project by simply watching the people around her—their experiences, struggles, and daily efforts to make it through life. By pulling from their points of view, Abby tapped into her innermost empathetic self, and in doing so, delicately weaved together a collection of heartfelt, soul-baring songs.
Though a newcomer to the scene, Abby is no stranger to the stage. Raised by a father who dabbled as a musician himself, the singer grew up with music at the forefront of her identity, beginning her own career in her early high school years. Evolving over the years into the phenom she’s known as today, she has established a sound of her own—one made up of delicate, enchanting vocals backed by equally tender guitar riffs and soft beats.
Upon first listen, ‘The Florist’ presents itself as a coming-of-age tale, but beneath the surface lies the intention of highlighting the feelings associated with both growing up, and growing old. “‘Pool Party’ really zeroes in on moments of youth; feeling unprepared, overwhelmed, and a bit out of sorts. To contrast this, I included a conversation I had with my Nanna where she speaks on the troubles she faces and her overarching feeling of falling behind… I think we really glorify youth and there are a lot of pieces of work out there that focus on ‘firsts,’ such as first love, first heartbreak, etc. My Nanna really inspired the project because I wanted to get both sides of the timeline. The beginning and the end, that’s what I wanted to capture with The Florist.”
Followed by three previously-released singles—”Pool Party,” “Backwards Directions,” and title track, “The Florist,” Abby’s most recent project can be likened to a completed painting, one that encompasses the artist’s current chapter in life. While the 5-track EP leaves the listener aching for more, after having witnessed the artist’s abundant creative capability, there’s a comfort in knowing there’s more where that came from. Read below as Abby delves into the conception of the EP, her structured yet natural songwriting process, and more.
Walk us through the conception of this project—how did it all come together?
It really all came together quite quickly. “Pool Party” was the first that came to me. I wrote it initially as a poem about the very turbulent/uncertain moments that come with youth. I think this helped me zero in on the trajectory of the project. I wanted it to be this sort of circular/all-encompassing time stamp of various periods of life. I spent a lot of time with my Nanna while I was in London, she spoke very openly about the troubles she runs into now that she’s older. I recorded her a lot during that time knowing I wanted her to complete that piece of the puzzle for the project. She speaks on “Irene,” the interlude.
Your single “High Five” is described as a “celebration of solitude,” would you say that you thrive more in solitude or more in the company of others?
I think my mind is a lot clearer when I’m alone. With that said I really do love good company, I think it’s just an intimacy thing. I prefer an intimate conversation one-on-one over a large crowd.
For someone just breaking into the music industry, you’ve released a lot of work within such a short period of time. What is your creative process?
I definitely like to section things off. I’ll write a project all at once because I want it to encapsulate a singular time period. I prefer it this way too because I get to devote all of my time to one or a few things at once (creatively). Once I finish the project I turn a little switch in my brain to think about how I want to bring it to life (it’s visual portrayal, performance wise, etc). I’m always writing though. I think that is the one thing that’s constant.
The EP’s interlude, “Irene” is a beautifully-spoken stream of consciousness, what prompted you to include this in the project?
I really knew right away that I wanted to include Irene on the project somehow. I would take the train to see my Nanna when I had free days from the studio. We were sitting in her study trying to figure out her printer when I decided to start recording her one night. She spoke about being frustrated with how fast things move and how difficult it is to keep up with the technological world. Something I admire in her though is her willingness to try. In the interlude she expresses just how much she doesn’t want to get left behind. She got her printer to work.
Who are some of your past or current influences? Who are you listening to right now?
Your music can be described as “sad girl” music—in a good way. Who or what makes you the most happy?
Friends and family at the forefront. I realized how much I love learning too. I know for certain I want to go back to school at some point, I think that would really make me happy.
Songs can be a window into the soul of the writer, what do you hope your music tells people about you as an individual?
I’m not really sure. I’m constantly finding new meaning in the songs I write so I just hope that people can create their own. I’ll listen back to something and realize how much sense it made for the time I was in, it doesn’t always come right away. I think there are many meanings I haven’t even found yet, just felt.