FRESH from a whole buncha dates criss-crossing the States in the company of Modest Mouse, Philadelphia’s cutely noisy foursome Empath have got all the feels extended for a new album.
That album is entitled simply Visitor, and will be out just short of Valentine’s day next year on Fat Possum. Need more precision with your dates, huh? Read to the end, godammit, where you’ll also find pre-order details and the excellent, squally, knockabout lo-fi fun of the album-announcing single, “Diamond Eyelids”.
“This song was written in a stream of consciousness from a few pieced together memories I had,” says Empath’s Catherine Elicson.
“One [was] of coming downstairs at my house one morning and unexpectedly finding a friend who lives on the other side of the country asleep on the couch, the other was of when a friend used to travel from Chicago an hour and a half to the suburbs to work full time at a low paying Americorps job; collaging memories in a way that created an emotional narrative about reaching for a fleeting moment of connection and familiarity.”
Check that deliciously oddball raggy-doll video, courtesy Halle Ballard. Hazy, woozy fun indeed with a noise-guitar break that sounds like My Bloody Valentine playing back on a knackered cassette you found in an abandoned cottage.
Catherine says of the video: “The idea spawned from a desire to have some kind of puppet video of us made. I knew that Halle could pull that off, so she started making all of us and our instruments out of papier-mâché, which took a couple months.
“When it came to the clothes we weren’t really sure how to go about making those. I suggested maybe they just stay naked and be babies in a womb, and the whole concept of the video kind of snowballed from that.
“Halle had a pregnancy suit from a previous project, and we agreed it would take the video to a weird psychological level and also be funny if I were to wear it and give birth to myself and the rest of the band.
“A lot of Halle’s work deals with mother-daughter themes so it just felt like it made sense to go that direction.”
Bandmate Randall Coon sums it all up. “That song has pop sensibilities, but it’s weird and heavy at the same time,” he says. “That’s definitely something we strive for.”
Empath’s Visitor will be released by Fat Possum digitally and on vinyl on February 11th, 2022; order your copy here.