Photo via Juliet Farmer
Eliza Edens' latest song is quite clearly about mortality, but it's not a total bummer of a song. "Westlawn Cemetery" is definitely melancholy, but in a way that's just accepting. Edens has created the kind of song that may include electric instrumentation while still being purely folk. Sure, it's not a traditional version of the genre, but everything about "Westlawn Cemetery" is pure folk. It's a gorgeous, heartfelt song that will be impossible not to be affected by emotionally.
Eliza Edens says of her new song:
"During the depths of the pandemic, I was hunkering down at my childhood home with my parents in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. I went for walks every day, usually just up the street to a small, bucolic cemetery where I formed many early memories – sledding, walking the dog, learning to drive. During this time while I was home, it started to become clear that my mother needed extra care due to her illness. One afternoon on one of my walks, I started thinking a lot about mortality, the irony of gravestones, and how much time she spent as a professional gardener – tending to the earth and making the world a more beautiful place in the most literal way. Those thoughts swirled together, and this song manifested after fussing around in a tuning I learned from a Nick Drake song. My collaborator Pat had the idea of putting very thick, low-end electronic drums on the song which adds a felt heartbeat and weight to the song. It's all about the difficulty of accepting change and death."