“Grateful”: how to grieve and heal from the loss of a friend according to Elise LeGrow

Let’s sit back and enjoy the show
The good, the bad, and the great unknown
Unravelling right before our eyes,
Side by side, through the lows and highs
“Forever” by Elise LeGrow

It’s no surprise, but life isn’t always easy. How do you fall back in love with it when you think the worst has happened? Canadian singer-songwriter Elise LeGrow kinda asked this question to herself.

She’s now back with some answers through her second LP “Grateful”, which dropped on November 5th. Spoiler alert: they say time heals, and she seems to agree with it too.

“Grateful” starts with sunny melodies and a refreshing feel-good vibe. The neo-soul vocalist is heading in a new direction. Drums, harmonies, and the clapping sounds in “Feel Alright” and “Forever” deliver an optimistic message. The time is now, and you have to focus on the present to try to feel good again.

Live now and be adventurous

“Feel Alright” is one of those songs we can imagine playing during a road trip along the sea, blasting to the music with the wind in our hair. It’s a call to let go of all of our worries and try to make it work either way. Fun fact:  Elise LeGrow chose to represent this spirit of freedom in its Visualizer.

The debut of this album sounds like an uplifting hymn. “Forever” is a reminder that life is short, so you can make choices without overanalyzing them. Go with the flow, and don’t be afraid of the fall: “Forever is such a long, long time / So we better know it’s genuine / But whether this is wrong or right / All we can do is try”. Be spontaneous!

Find joy in the simple things 

This state of mind is also a celebration of every little thing. We have to enjoy them while we can. Someone’s life can be celebrated by living to the fullest and perpetuating their memory.

This is what they’d want for us: moving on while being remembered, and for us to find happiness again. This step is crucial in mourning because joy can appear in smaller details.

Elise LeGrow experiences it as she connects with what’s surrounds her: “It’s like wind in the trees / The birds and the bees / Suddenly seem brand new (…) You lifted up your head and smiled, I carry that with me / Something so small, so easy / Baby you made my day” (“Better Side.”) Whatever works for you, don’t be ashamed of what makes you smile again after somebody loss. Any little thing is a reminder that life can be beautiful.

Furthermore, you might also feel grateful you had them in your life. Sadness gradually fades to remember all the good memories. Sometimes, they even help you feel better. Elise LeGrow does it in the track named “Evan,” in tribute to one of her closest friends who passed away: “And every single time that I watch an old Chappelle’s Show episode / I can hear your voice reciting all his jokes”.

Memories can be heart-warming, but don’t drown in them and stay focused on the present.

Never stop listening to your feelings and emotions

However, don’t repress how you feel. Don’t try to lose yourself to extreme positivity to try to feel better too soon. That can be toxic. Everyone has their emotional rhythm and their way to grief. Listening to your feelings and emotions is a part of the process. In “Drinking In The Day,” Elise LeGrow reminds us that we have to accept being vulnerable and opening up to others when we feel the need to.

Otherwise, we might get caught by our demons – alcohol in that case: “You’re drinking in the day / Crumbling from the weight / Sometimes it’s good to cry, cry, cry, cry, cry”. Here, “cry” is used as an anaphora to remind that it’s necessary.

A first glimpse of original songs

Elise LeGrow shows her own vulnerability: “I never said I was great, but I’m grateful (grateful) / Oh, I know that I coulda been gone / Can’t say that I was never wrong / But that makes me grateful” (“Grateful”). It’s okay to be imperfect, and sometimes, losing someone is a wake-up call to be grateful for your own life

This is the first time Elise LeGrow is sharing original songs. Her previous work is indeed a collection of brilliant covers. In this album, her soulful voice is as touching as Amy Winehouse’s while exploring difficult themes. However, “Grateful” starts and ends with playful melodies. Sun and hope aren’t always far.  

Mélanie Domergue

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