[New Song Of The Week] Empires - How Good Does It Feel

You could’ve catched this band from Chicago last weekend opening the main stage of the Austin City Limits festival, or perhaps you watched them perform on Letterman in June.
You didn’t? Don’t worry, we hadn’t heard or seen them in Europe either since 2010.

For their third album called ‘Orphan’ the four worked together with producer John Congleton, who also worked with Cloud Nothings, St. Vincent, The Walkmen and many more. The collaboration resulted in a release which reminds in the first place of The National, due to Sean Van Vleet’s voice, mixed with flashes of Bruce Springsteen, a pinch of The Smiths and even that one alternative rock band from the eighties that nobody can remember.

But most of all ‘
Well How Good Does It Feel’ reminds us of the amazing guitar tracks that The Killers used to make until 2007. An excellent song which should be played out load on nocturnal road trips to exploit its full potential.



Hope there’s a heaven in the chemicals, an angel in the alcohol is burned alive

It’s already six years (!) since Empires released their first album, Howl, for free online (it definitely doesn’t feel like that long ago…). Like most people, I heard about them thanks to being a fan of guitarist Tom Conrad’s former band, but those days are long gone and Empires’ link to the mid-00s emo scene doesn’t seem as important now,

Hostage, from their fourth album, Orphan, balances right on the edge of creepy and amazing, and the drums and echoing guitar make this a song which demands to be turned up loud.

#music  #q  
Title: Des Plaines Kids (Demo) Artist: Empires 76 plays
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Title: Journey Kid Artist: Empires 94 plays


where you headin’ you ain’t lookin’ back…

#music  #q  

Orphan according to the liner notes (linebreaks mine, since it’s a wall of text):


I hear you calling by the wayside
A slipping image through the cold night
I think if I go further I’ll chase the grave
I can feel you pulsing clinching in my veins
Don’t call me
Can you take your haunting away
Or take my heartbeat away
I may have fallen in a landslide
Maybe abducted by the daylight
Don’t know where I’m headed
Think I went too far
To the heart I’ve dreaded
Show me where you are
Hold to me
Can you take your haunting away
Or take my heartbeat away
I hear you calling

On “Lifers,” Van Vleet’s distinct warble is front and center, distorted over a midtempo slow burner, while “Glow” finds Empires at once both hypnotic and harmonious. The record’s title track, meanwhile, is a crooning love song lit up by warm tones, while the driving, building “Hostage” finds the singer admitting “There’s a heaven in the chemicals, an angel in the alcohols, burned alive.” And “How Good Does It Feel” is the group at their polished garage rock catchiest. An irresistible summer anthem that just exudes sonic victory.

Illinois Entertainer's feature story on Empires and 'Orphan'

photo from the Stubb’s show! (x)



An afternoon well-spent with some friends and @weareempires, courtesy of @aclfest and @redbull. #ACLfestlive


last festival of the year 🙏 (at Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL))

(via abcdefghijklissa)

Anonymous asked: what are the lyrics to the song orphan?

I don’t have them, but maybe sundayspumpkin does!