A shiny blurt of electronic noise bounces through the new Empress Of track “Water Water,” evoking and distorting the steady drip of the titular element. Like a giant, wobbly beach ball filled with mercury, the sound understandably draws the listener’s attention away from the fact that what we really have here is an understated, irresistable dancefloor anthem. Consider it a sonic humblebrag from Lorely Rodriguez, who summons the festival goddess vibe of Florence and the Machine and applies it to the sleek, minimalist throb of Kiesza. The Brooklyn-based artist has been recording tracks as Empress Of for a couple of years, but her latest material should turn heads and grab ears when it drops later this summer on her debut album for Terrible Records.
As a bonus, Empress Of has released “Agua Agua,” a Spanish-language version of “Water Water.” There are new lyrics here (unless I didn’t catch the reference to fumando marijuana in the English version), and the sound of her native tongue (both of Rodriguez’s parents are from Honduras) recasts the track’s emotional heft. Dive in!
A sociology professor living in upstate New York, Leonard Nevarez is patiently waiting until his kids are old enough for a family roadtrip to Maryland Deathfest. He blogs at musicalurbanism.org and is writing a book about Martha & the Muffins and the late 70s/early 80s downtown Toronto music scene.