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Empress Of’s Systems

Posted on the 28 March 2013 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie


It was at the tail end of last year that Lorely Rodriguez put out her first single “Champagne” under the alias Empress Of. Since then, she’s been picking up some serious momentum. With a slot on this year’s SXSW bill and this her debut EP, 2013 has so far seen the Brooklyn native in good form. If Systems is anything to go by, then there is a very bright future in store for this young lady.

There is a simple no fuss sensibility behind Systems. Despite piecing itself together from various aspects of dream pop, indietronica and ambient music, the manner in which Rodriguez fuses these individual elements is clean, clear and definitive. Despite having a somewhat hazy undertone and ’80s retrospective to some of its synth sounds and drum sounds, Empress Of is a project unwilling to latch itself definitively to just these influences. It’s dreamy and it glistens and sparkles, but, stylistically and tonally, Systems promises more than just another glossy, sun-kissed slice of indie pop. The EP sees Empress Of blend aspects of world music with minimal electronics to create a cool but colorful soundscape, upon which the record glides across with ease.

One of the key mechanisms which enables this is Rodriguez’s song crafting, in particular the way she playfully moulds and shapes the structure of her compositions. Whether overlapping her vocals, playing the foreground against the background, or streamlining layers to add more emphasis to her vocals, she shows a calm, controlled ability to shape her music to her liking, a skill that doesn’t come easy.

Systems doesn’t by any means leave a thunderbolt impression, but  I dont believe that was the intention. There’s plenty of room and time for Empress Of to grow and fill out a more robust shape. For now, her arrival is like awakening from a tropical dream to find yourself in a blissfully sleepy state, the kind you seldom want to leave.

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