You walk down a long, narrow hall with mirrors covering both walls. A blinding light shines from the end of the corridor, but you can’t discern its source. A glimpse of something passes quickly through your right peripheral, but you look only to see yourself staring back. Another flash of something, this time on the left and more prominent. You turn, and again you’re met with your double. You turn back to look at the light, and a woman stands in front of you . . .
Long has pop music carried the connotation of catering exclusively to the masses, to the herds just looking for the next piece of radio fodder to mindlessly consume. However, a rare breed of artists are mutating the term with ingenuity and inventive ideas. Me is the newest full-length by Empress Of, helmed by New York-based, Honduran-American singer-songwriter Lorely Rodriguez, and a prime example of this unique musical genus.
Rodriguez isolated herself at a friend’s home in central Mexico while she wrote this record, and the seclusion has led to her penning candid songs of deep introspection and intimacy. The lyrics read like a diary, chronicling vivid moments across a tumultuous relationship, while the polished, diverse instrumentation enhances her soaring vocal melodies with flavors of r&b, house, and a healthy amount of pop experimentation.
This is one of the most accessible releases of this year, and it also happens to be one of the most imaginative. Rodriguez paints her musings in such a masterful way that the intricacies contained melt into blissful, euphonious hooks that anyone can enjoy. It’s a record that’s effortlessly consumable, and reveals new treasures with each subsequent listen. If you’re seeking superbly melodic, innovative pop, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)