Empires | Orphan (Chop Shop)

cd EmpiresThe songs set the mood for a laidback and relaxing evening in…or an extremely slow Sunday morning rise and shine.

 

 

Having absolutely no prior background on the band, nor having ever heard any of their previous albums, I would say Empires—or at least their newest album, Orphan—reminds me a lot of the British shoegaze phase of the early ’90s. Subdued yet peaceful, their melancholy and melodic tendencies are consistent throughout the album. If there’s one thing that every single track on the album has in common, it’s the fact they all set the mood for a laidback and relaxing evening in…or an extremely slow Sunday morning rise and shine. Either way, the ambiance of Empires’ music is exceptionally therapeutic and spellbinding.

With that said, Orphan is nothing less than completely amazing. The album opens with “Silverfire,” a spacey and steadily uplifting track that eases you into the album and really sets the bar for every song after. For someone like myself, who had never heard of them before, it’s a real quality track that sucks you in for the long haul. It really showcases the quality of their sound and sets them apart from other bands. It’s not loud or overbearing, nor is it trying to be something it’s not; it’s a simple track, simple repeated cords with minimal and sometimes undiscernible lyrics. Nonetheless, the lyrics aren’t really the star here as much as the melody: a repeating theme over the entire album.

Some tracks, like “Shadowfaux” and “How Good Does It Feel,” lean a little more toward the pop-rock genre, but still stay toward the laid back side of things. All in all, you’re not going to find anything unbearably crazy or crass here. Orphan feels a little heavy or deep at times, but inevitably it’s a relaxing and soul-cleansing album that’s worth a listen—or two. A- | Jennifer Manjarez

RIYL: Reuben and the Dark, The Darcys, Broken Social Scene

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