Those of you that know me, or have stopped at the Multimedia desk to talk music with me, know that I am a big fan of indie rock. Back in April, I went to see the band, A Silent Film, at the Union Transfer in Philadelphia, and was pleasantly surprised by one of the openers, Empires. From the first song, “Hello Lover,” I was hooked. I went home and downloaded everything I could from iTunes, and haven’t been able to get them off my playlists since. I don’t want to pigeonhole them and compare them to other bands out there because they definitely have their own developed sound, which sets them apart, and crosses multiple genres. With gritty yet soulful vocals and bluesy guitars, mixed with a healthy dose of hard rock, and as my concert buddy mentioned, “The originality of any great indie band,” Empires are poised to shake up the music scene. Their latest album, Garage Hymns, dropped earlier this month, and they are hitting the road this summer to promote it.
Last night, Empires returned to Philly and played a show at Kung Fu Necktie. Now in the past few weeks I have seen some amazing shows (Radiohead, Nada Surf, The Black Keys, etc.) and had pretty high expectations. Needless to say they didn’t disappoint, and were even better than the first time I saw them (I didn’t think that was possible, but hey I’ll take it). While mostly playing songs off of Garage Hymns, they threw in a few crowd pleasers (“Spit the Dark,” and, “Bang”) from past albums. My only complaint was that they didn’t play longer.
Interested in checking them out? Below are the catalog links to the albums.
My favorite tracks: Voodooized, Hello Lover & I Know You Know
My favorite tracks: Shame, The Night is Young & Hitchhiker
For those that I have already converted, here was the set list from last night.